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Associations of dairy intake with risk of mortality in women and men: three prospective cohort studies

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: (Published 27 November 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l6204

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Is dairy intake beneficial or harmful for cardiovascular risks and mortality?

The consumption of dairy products has been shown to have health benefits for general populations [1-2], but harms for some chronic conditions e.g. in patients with chronic renal failure [3]. In a study conducted by Ding and colleagues using the data from three prospective cohort studies, the high consumption of dairy foods did not show the inverse association with mortality risk in men and women [4]. However, in a randomized crossover trial, people who consumed a high-dairy diet (5-6 dairy portions per day) as compared with a low-dairy diet (≤1 dairy portion per day) had a significant reduction in both systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure in overweight middle-aged women and men [1]. In another randomized crossover intervention, adults who consumed either high- or low- dairy diet during the 6-week trial had a similar effect on fasting glucose, postprandial glucose and insulin responses, and glucose kinetics [2]. These inconsistencies require more trials to examine the effect of different types of dairy foods in different subgroups.

1. Rietsema, S.; Eelderink, C.; Joustra, M.L.; van Vliet, I.M.Y.; van Londen, M.; Corpeleijn, E.; Singh-Povel, C.M.; Geurts, J.M.W.; Kootstra-Ros, J.E.; Westerhuis, R.; et al. Effect of high compared with low dairy intake on blood pressure in overweight middle-aged adults: results of a randomized crossover intervention study. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 2019, 110, 340–348.
2. Eelderink, C.; Rietsema, S.; van Vliet, I.M.Y.; Loef, L.C.; Boer, T.; Koehorst, M.; Nolte, I.M.; Westerhuis, R.; Singh-Povel, C.M.; Geurts, J.M.W.; et al. The effect of high compared with low dairy consumption on glucose metabolism, insulin sensitivity, and metabolic flexibility in overweight adults: a randomized crossover trial. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 2019, 109, 1555-1568.
3. K/DOQI Workgroup. K/DOQI Clinical Practice Guidelines for Nutrition in Chronic Renal Failure. Am. J. Kidney Dis. 2000, 35, S1-S140.
4. Ding, M.; Li, J.; Qi, L.; Ellervik, C.; Zhang, X.; Manson, J.E.; Stampfer, M.; Chavarro, J.E.; Rexrode, K.M.; Kraft, P.; et al. Associations of dairy intake with risk of mortality in women and men: three prospective cohort studies. BMJ 2019, 367, l6204.

Competing interests: No competing interests

31 December 2019
Tuyen V. Duong
Assist. Prof.
School of Nutrition and Health Sciences, Taipei Medical University
No. 250, Wuxing St. Taipei City 11031, Taiwan