Milk May Be Worse for Us Than Anyone Thought, Says Scary New Study

couple at breakfast drinking milkMilk "does a body good," right? And, well, even if you don't completely buy that it's the best source of calcium for you and your kids, or it's not 100 percent natural to drink another mammal's milk, you may just enjoy it, and figure it's healthy enough. But new research says that not only does drinking milk not live up to all the hype, but it may actually be hurting us.

A new study from researchers in Uppsala University in Sweden and published in the British Medical Journal found that drinking more milk may be associated with higher mortality and bone fractures in women and higher mortality in men.

That's right -- consuming milk could be taking a toll on bone health and cutting our lives short. Wow.

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The researchers looked at two large, long-term Swedish studies of adults (both women and men), which included data about how their dietary habits, specifically how much and what types of milk and dairy products they ate.

The women who drank three or more glasses of milk a day had a higher risk of fracture and a higher risk of death. Men who drank three or more glasses of milk a day had a slightly higher risk of death -- mostly associated with cardiovascular death -- compared to those who drank less than one glass a day.

The explanation (which vegans may find themselves nodding and saying "told you so!" in response to): The amount of milk they consumed was linked to higher levels of a biological stress marker -- oxidative stress -- which has been associated with aging, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Ouch.

Interestingly, dairy products like cheese, yogurt, sour cream, and other fermented products look like downright miracle drugs by comparison, as they were associated with reduced rates of mortality and hip fractures by 10-15 percent.

More from The Stir: Drinking Whole Milk May Actually Make You & Your Kids Thinner!

So, really, it looks like simply drinking "cow juice" is the researchers' greatest concern -- potentially due to one of its components, a sugar called D-galactose, which induces aging in animals, and is linked to increased oxidative stress and inflammation. And looking more closely at that sugar will be the next phase of research.

Either way, further investigation is needed before we can draw any sweeping, damning conclusions about milk. But in the meantime, these findings definitely seem like a red flag for not only adult milk drinkers and moms of kids who love to glug it.

Does this new research affect how you feel about drinking milk?

 

Image via iStock.com/nyul

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