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A Glass Of Milk A Day May Help Keep Osteoarthritis At Bay

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and occurs when the cartilage in people’s joints wears down. A recent study suggests that consuming low and fat-free milk could help reduce the progression of osteoarthritis in women.

Participants in the study included 888 men and 1,260 women who were followed for a total of four years. Milk consumption was determined using a food frequency questionnaire and the researchers performed follow-up examinations at 12, 24, 36, and 48 months.

At the conclusion of the study, the researchers found that increasing milk intake from zero to seven or more glasses per week slowed the decrease of joint space width in women. At the end of the study, the mean decreases in joint space width were 0.38 mm when zero glasses of milk were consumed weekly, 0.29 mm for 3 glasses or less, 0.29 mm for 4-6 glasses and 0.26 mm for 7 or more glasses.

No association between milk consumption and joint width space decrease was observed for men. Additionally, yogurt did not have any effect on either gender.

Cheese consumption, on the other hand, was associated with an increase in osteoarthritis progression.

Researchers from Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston conducted the study. It was published on April 7, 2014, in Arthritis Care and Research.

Dairy consumption has also been linked in previous studies to weight loss and improved mental function. If you decide to add more dairy to your diet, consider sticking to low-fat dairy products as the high fat content of “whole milk” products could reduce the positive benefits.

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