Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Does Milk Increase Risk of Parkinson's?

Looking for another reason to consider reducing your milk and dairy consumption?

I've blogged before about how diets higher in dairy seem to be associated with increased risk of ovarian cancer and fatal and aggressive prostate cancer while not demonstrating themselves to be protective versus osteoporotic fractures.

Well now research has linked diets higher in dairy, especially in men, with increased risk of Parkinson's disease.

The study, published a week or so ago in the American Journal of Epidemiology, looked at 57,689 men and 73,175 women from the American Cancer Society's Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort. 250 men and 138 women with Parkinson's disease were identified during the ten years of follow-up. Diets higher in dairy were associated with increased risks of Parkinson's development with men having an 80% increased risk and women 30% in the highest dairy intake grouping.

While by no means a slam dunk that ties dairy forever to Parkinson's, it's just another thing to ponder when watching the does a body good and think about your drink messages paid for by the enormously deep pockets of Big Milk.

In an reflex quobesity, Big Milk in the UK (the UK Dairy Council) had this to say regarding the study,

"In reality there is no definitive link between dairy/milk, or any other food group, and any chronic disease."
Um, doesn't that also mean there's no definitive link between dairy consumption and osteoporosis prevention (a chronic disease)?

Of course if pressed this Big Milk spokesperson certainly would point out that....no no, milk does decrease risk of osteoporosis (even though it doesn't), it's just that nothing bad could ever be linked to dairy.

Bookmark and Share


  1. Kristy9:25 pm

    The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) study found that blood pressure dropped significantly when hypertensive and pre-hypertensive participants consumed a diet RICH in fruits, vegetables and low-fat milk products.

    I don't think it is fair to conclude that milk products have no value within a healthy, balanced diet. Milk is one of the only major food sources of Vitamin D (which we KNOW Canadians do not obtain enough of in winter months,) and the DASH study's results show that low-fat milk products may help to lower blood pressure (although they could not confirm which dietary change made the difference).

    There are several fruit yogurts on the market now that are low in calories (40-50 calories per single serve container), fat and sugar (made with Splenda) and are fabulous as snacks. Vitamin D is also being added to these.

    By the way - I see you have made the inside front cover of May's Nutrition Action Health Letter. Cool!

  2. Hi Kristy,

    Thanks for the comments.

    Why would I want to get my vitamin D from a package that contained potential risks (milk/dairy) and non-satiating calories rather than simply take a vitamin D supplement?

    It's possible that dairy will shake out eventually as not being a terrible choice, but at this point, the data on dairy suggest more potential for risk than benefit.

    Until that changes, I'll stick to my Vitamin D pill.