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Parkinson disease and milk

Does drinking milk cause Parkinson disease? Not if you have to believe the milk lobby which claims that milk does your body good. But milk may not be that good for your mind. Recent studies link milk consumption with higher risk of Parkinson disease. A prospective study conducted in 2005 by the Korea University showed that drinking a glass or two of milk a day may raise the risk of Parkinson disease in middle-aged men (1). This study followed 7,504 middle-aged men who participated in a heart study in Hawaii during a period of 30 years. In the course of follow-up, 128 men developed Parkinson disease. The researchers found those men who consumed during their midlife more than 0.5 litres of milk per day were 2.3 times more likely to develop Parkinson disease than those who drank no milk. They also found that the effect of milk consumption on Parkinson disease was independent of calcium intake.
One year later, another observational study confirmed that milk consumption may increase the risk of Parkinson disease (2). A team of American scientists, lead by Honglei Chen of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, collected information from 73,175 women and 57,689 men and found that those consuming milk more frequently had a 60 percent greater chance of acquiring Parkinson disease. A higher risk among dairy product consumers was found in both men (+80%) and women (+30%), but the association in women was nonlinear. The researchers were no able to define the underlying mechanisms that could explain the link between milk consumption and the disease. They concluded that more studies are required to examine these findings and to explore the underlying mechanisms.

References

(1) Neurology. 2005 Mar 22;64(6):1047-51. Consumption of milk and calcium in midlife and the future risk of Parkinson disease.
(2) Am J Epidemiol. 2007 May 1;165(9):998-1006. Consumption of dairy products and risk of Parkinson's disease.

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