It’s already common knowledge that milk is the one mighty elixir when it comes to protein and especially calcium, however, a recent study comes to contradict this theory. Scientists believe that it may actually be the other way around and that large quantities of milk may in make bones more likely to break.
Researchers from the Uppsala University in Sweden found out that milk contributed not just to a higher risk of bone fractures in female patients but also to an increased mortality for patients of both genders. The results, published in the British Medical Journal, included information from two other large studies on the same topic. Both studies investigated subjects’ dietary habits and compared these to their health and rate of injury.
Results were surprising, to say the least.
”Our results may question the validity of recommendations to consume high amounts of milk to prevent fragility fractures,”
Karl Michaelsson, lead researcher said.
In the case of men who drank cow’s milk three times per day, cardiovascular problems were more likely to occur. Oxidative stress levels were increased in both men and women, and this is common for elderly patients or people suffering from cancer.
“I’ve looked at fractures during the last 25 years. I’ve been puzzled by the question because there has again and again been a tendency of a higher risk of fracture with a higher intake of milk,”
Karl Michaelsson, lead author and Uppsala University professor told reporters.
When attempting to explain the higher mortality and bone fracture risk, researchers came up with one theory involving D-galactose, the milk sugar. This sugar is associated with inflammation and oxidative stress.
“With fermented cheese the level of galactose is very low. It’s not as high as it is in milk,”
Michaelsson said when asked why the results were connected to milk consumption as opposed to milk products.
“Yogurt also has the probiotic effect of bacteria.”
The study included two groups, the first including 61,433 women (aged 39-74) and the second including 45,399 men (aged 45-79). Both groups completed food frequency questionnaires and then tracked for approximately 20 years (for women) and 11 years (for men). A total of 15,541 subjects died and 17,252 experienced fractures. The results did not only not find a fracture risk reduction in women consuming milk, but also noticed that for those women drinking more than three glasses of milk per day, the risk of death was higher.
For men, results were similar. A total of 10,112 subjects died while 5,066 presented fractures. The risk of death was also higher in direct connection with an increase in milk consumption, although not as pronounced as in women.