Sunday, November 2, 2014

Drinking a lot of milk doubled the risk of death for women, and increased hip fractures by 60%

Milk causes osteoporosis? How many trillions to we pay for medical care in the US? Why did we need to wait for a tiny country like Sweden to give us this information?

For years doctors prescribed large doses of Vitamin D and calcium that turned out to be no help at all with osteoporosis. All that time, our doctors never warned us against milk.

And the medical establishment moans about its helplessness in the face of Alzheimer's, but forgot to mention that D-galactose was associated with memory loss in animals in research going back to 2006. Certainly, my doctors never mentioned it.

Is our health being held hostage to the profits of politically-powerful groups like the milk lobby? It seems like every month I am presented with a new reason for not trusting the CDC (Center for Disease Control). It seems that the research done by the government too often involves increasing or protecting profits for some powerful, wealthy group of people. New drugs, new devices, new procedures keep coming down the pipeline. But of course, the people who repair broken hips aren't going to make as much money now that women have this information from Sweden.

Drinking a lot of milk may be shortening women’s lives
October 30, 2014
By Karen O’Shea
Irish Examiner

Drinking three or more glasses of milk per day may be harmful to women’s health, a study suggests.
Women in the study who drank at least three glasses of milk a day were nearly twice as likely to die over the next 20 years compared with their peers who drank less than a glass daily, researchers in Sweden found. In addition, the study, published in the British Medical Journal found that women’s risk of bone fracture climbed steadily as their milk intake increased.

The reason could be galactose, a simple sugar found in milk, said Karl Michaelsson, a professor at Uppsala University in Sweden and one of the study’s authors. “That compound might induce oxidative stress and low-grade inflammation, and that type of inflammation can affect mortality and fractures,” Michaelsson said. 

Many health bodies recommend that adults get the equivalent of three cups of milk daily, based on the idea that dairy is good for the bones, and may reduce heart disease risk. But there’s actually little scientific evidence to support these recommendations, the study authors said.

The study included 61,433 women who were ages 39 to 74 at the study’s start, and 45,339 men ages 45 to 79. The women were followed for 20 years, on average. During that time, 15,541 died and 17,252 had fractures, including 4,259 hip fractures. After the researchers took into account factors like age, body mass index and alcohol consumption, they found that women who drank three or more glasses of milk daily were 1.93 times more likely to die during the follow-up period than those who drank less than a glass of milk daily. 

Among the men, who were followed for an average of 11 years, there was no association between mortality or fractures and milk consumption. 

But dairy lovers need not despair. The researchers found that fermented milk products, like cheese and yogurt, which contain little or no galactose, had the opposite effect: women who ate or drank the most fermented milk products were less likely to die or sustain fractures during the study.

Milk intake and risk of mortality and fractures in women and men: cohort studies

  • Accepted 22 September 2014


Objective To examine whether high milk consumption is associated with mortality and fractures in women and men.
Design Cohort studies.
Setting Three counties in central Sweden.
Participants Two large Swedish cohorts, one with 61 433 women (39-74 years at baseline 1987-90) and one with 45 339 men (45-79 years at baseline 1997), were administered food frequency questionnaires. The women responded to a second food frequency questionnaire in 1997.
Main outcome measure Multivariable survival models were applied to determine the association between milk consumption and time to mortality or fracture.
Results During a mean follow-up of 20.1 years, 15 541 women died and 17 252 had a fracture, of whom 4259 had a hip fracture. In the male cohort with a mean follow-up of 11.2 years, 10 112 men died and 5066 had a fracture, with 1166 hip fracture cases. In women the adjusted mortality hazard ratio for three or more glasses of milk a day compared with less than one glass a day was 1.93 (95% confidence interval 1.80 to 2.06). For every glass of milk, the adjusted hazard ratio of all cause mortality was 1.15 (1.13 to 1.17) in women and 1.03 (1.01 to 1.04) in men. For every glass of milk in women no reduction was observed in fracture risk with higher milk consumption for any fracture (1.02, 1.00 to 1.04) or for hip fracture (1.09, 1.05 to 1.13). The corresponding adjusted hazard ratios in men were 1.01 (0.99 to 1.03) and 1.03 (0.99 to 1.07). In subsamples of two additional cohorts, one in males and one in females, a positive association was seen between milk intake and both urine 8-iso-PGF2α (a biomarker of oxidative stress) and serum interleukin 6 (a main inflammatory biomarker).

Conclusions High milk intake was associated with higher mortality in one cohort of women and in another cohort of men, and with higher fracture incidence in women. Given the observational study designs with the inherent possibility of residual confounding and reverse causation phenomena, a cautious interpretation of the results is recommended.


A diet rich in milk products is promoted to reduce the likelihood of osteoporotic fractures. Milk contains 18 of 22 essential nutrients, including calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D of especial importance for the skeleton. Intestinal uptake of these nutrients is enhanced by the enzymatic capacity to digest lactose into D-glucose and D-galactose by mutation in the lactase gene, a variant common in those with northern European ancestry.1 2 An intake of dairy foods corresponding to three or four glasses of milk a day has been suggested to save at least 20% of healthcare costs related to osteoporosis.3

A high intake of milk might, however, have undesirable effects, because milk is the main dietary source of D-galactose. 

Experimental evidence in several animal species indicates that chronic exposure to D-galactose is deleterious to health and the addition of D-galactose by injections or in the diet is an established animal model of aging.4 5 6 7 Even a low dose of D-galactose induces changes that resemble natural aging in animals, including shortened life span caused by oxidative stress damage, chronic inflammation, neurodegeneration, decreased immune response, and gene transcriptional changes.5 7 A subcutaneous dose of 100 mg/kg D-galactose accelerates senescence in mice.5 This is equivalent to 6-10 g in humans, corresponding to 1-2 glasses of milk. Based on a concentration of lactose in cow’s milk of approximately 5%, one glass of milk comprises about 5 g of D-galactose. The increase of oxidative stress with aging and chronic low grade inflammation is not only a pathogenetic mechanism of cardiovascular disease and cancer in humans8 9 but also a mechanism of age related bone loss and sarcopenia.9 10 The high amount of lactose and therefore D-galactose in milk with theoretical influences on processes such as oxidative stress and inflammation makes the recommendations to increase milk intake for prevention of fractures a conceivable contradiction.

  1. Karl Michaëlsson, professor1,
  2. Alicja Wolk, professor2,
  3. Sophie Langenskiöld, senior lecturer3,
  4. Samar Basu, professor3,
  5. Eva Warensjö Lemming, researcher14,
  6. Håkan Melhus, professor5,
  7. Liisa Byberg, associate professor1
    Author affiliations
  1. Correspondence to: K Michaëlsson

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