A recent study purporting the negative effects of high milk intake and its association with increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) is being decried by nutritionists.
The original study published in the British Medical Journal and conducted by researchers from Uppsala University, the Karolinska Institute, and the Swedish National Food Agency, examined over 100,000 men and women over 23 years, comparing patients who drank three or more glasses of milk per day with those who drank less than one. The researchers found that 90% of those who drank more milk were likely to die prematurely from CVD complications.
However, nutritionists such as Joanne Slavin, PhD, RD, a professor of food science at the University of Minnesota has criticized the study for providing “no information on any mechanism” found in milk that would cause these effects, referencing studies that show the many benefits of drinking milk such as lower diabetes risk and BMI.
“This is a typical epidemiological study that overreaches for conclusions,” she said. “The study’s conclusions are ridiculous and awful.”
Gregory Miller, PhD, MACN, of the National Dairy Council noted that only 70-80% of the subjects were properly self-reporting their normal diet. For example, heavy milk drinkers in the study would have had an increased caloric intake compared to non-milk drinkers by at least 20-30%, but there was no reported difference in body weight or BMI between the differing groups.
A flawed study threatens to undermine new efforts to re-invigorate fluid milk sales. A Swedish study that purports to show high death rates and bone fractures in women who drink three or more glasses of milk per day is being termed “ridiculous” and “awful” by nutritionists familiar with the full body of research of milk’s health benefits.
The study, done by researchers from Uppsala University, the Karolinska Institute and the Swedish National Food Agency and reported in the British Medical Journal, followed more than 100,000 women and men over 23 years. It then compared bone and hip fractures and premature death in respondents who drank less than one glass of milk per day to those who drank three or more.