Milk milk milk. – Food Pharmacy

Food Pharmacy, Food Pharmacy, Research

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Milk milk milk.

We’re in Kalmar, in the south of Sweden, one and a half years ago.

– Mia, should we say something about milk in our book?

– What do you mean?

– Well, Stig has taught us that high consumption of milk may increase oxidative stress, inflammation, premature aging, and the risk of early death. But even if we write about it, I guess no one in Sweden would actually believe it?

– No, I guess not, milk is definitely a holy cow here. Most people still seem to believe that milk helps build strong bones.

– Interesting, and this despite the fact that brittle bones are much more common among us milk consumers here in Scandinavia, compared to people in other parts of the world…

Cut to yesterday. We find ourselves in a cafeteria in the Finnish countryside, killing time before our lecture, and reading in The American Journal of Epidemiology about a new study, led by Uppsala University and Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, in which they’ve studied milk consumption among 106.000 women and men, middle-aged and up. According to this article, the results leave no doubt: a high consumption of milk may increase the risk of premature death.

But, why? The results confirm that a high milk consumption is associated with chronic low-grade inflammation, primarily among women. The problem appears to be the milk sugar, lactose, since it may contribute to oxidative stress, inflammation, premature aging and increase the risk of early death. Antioxidants are a strong weapon against oxidative stress and low-grade inflammation, but the study shows that not even a high intake of fruits and vegetables, can completely eliminate the risks associated with milk consumption. The risks were higher with milk than yogurt, probably due to the fact that, during the fermentation process, milk sugar is partly broken down.

After all, it still feels good that we dared to question Sweden’s national beverage in our book. And in our upcoming cookbook, we’ve gathered lots of great alternatives to regular cow’s milk.




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