Azara Blog: Milk and Parkinson's disease

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Date published: 2005/04/07

The BBC says:

Drinking a glass or two of milk a day may raise the risk of Parkinson's disease in middle-aged men, research suggests.

Researchers say the apparent link is unlikely to be due to calcium - milk's key nutritional ingredient.

But they say it is unclear whether another ingredient, or a contaminant may raise the risk of Parkinson's - which overall still remains low.
Previous research has also suggested a link between high consumption of dairy products and a raised risk of Parkinson's in men - but not women.

The latest study focused on 7,504 men aged 45 to 68, who were enrolled in a heart study in Hawaii.

During the course of the 30-year study, 128 developed Parkinson's.

The researchers found those men who consumed more than 16oz (454g) of milk a day were 2.3 times more likely to develop Parkinson's than those who drank no milk at all.

Overall, the risk of Parkinson's - even among men who drank a lot of milk - was low.

The researchers calculated that in each 12 month period 6.9 cases of Parkinson's could be expected per 10,000 people who drank no milk.

Among those who drank more than 16ozs a day the figure was 14.9 per 10,000.
Rebecca Foster, a nutrition scientist at the British Nutrition Foundation, warned against cutting milk from the diet.

She said: "Milk and milk products (such as cheese and yogurt) are important sources of essential nutrients in diet, including protein, B vitamins such as riboflavin and B12, and minerals such as calcium, zinc and magnesium.

"For example in the UK milk and milk products provide 43% of calcium intake, providing 33% of riboflavin intake and 35% of iodine intake in men and 42% in women."

Another one of those potentially dreadful pieces of food research which might convince some people to stop drinking milk, although for most people doing so would probably be more harmful than not doing so. There is little point looking at one thing in isolation in order to determine what one should eat. The only point of this kind of research is that it might help scientists determine causes of specific diseases.

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