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Drinking more milk increases the risk of bone fractures in women
Although cow’s milk is conventionally thought to promote bone health because of its high calcium content, the authors of this study asked whether milk would promote oxidative stress and inflammation (and therefore risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer) due to its lactose content. They analyzed dietary data on women and men in Sweden, and they recorded deaths and fractures over a follow-up period of thirteen years for men and twenty-two years for women. Contrary to conventional thinking, women who drank more cow’s milk did not have any reduction in fracture risk. In fact, women who drank more than three glasses of milk a day had a 60 percent increase in the risk of hip fractures, and a 16 percent increase in risk of any fracture, compared to women who drank less than one glass a day. The researchers also found that women and men who drank more than three glasses of milk a day had a higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease, cancer and all causes combined. As the researchers hypothesized, higher milk consumption was correlated with elevated markers of oxidative stress and inflammation, factors which contribute to cardiovascular disease, cancer and osteoporosis.