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Association of dairy intake with cardiovascular disease and mortality (thelancet.com)
101 points by bookofjoe 23 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 47 comments

Title should be changed to something like the interpretation section: "Dairy consumption was associated with lower risk of mortality and major cardiovascular disease events in a diverse multinational cohort."

The study does not, and does not purport to, show a causal relationship.

EDIT: It appears that the title here has been changed, but to the article title, which is a bit less than ideal since it implies a positive correlation when the study shows a negative correlation (or at least it reads that way to me).

The condition "diverse multinational cohort" is very important. The primary driver of population level variance in dairy consumption is lactose tolerance. For example Northern Europeans have much higher lactose tolerance than Aboriginal Australians.

So, we have to be really careful that dairy consumption isn't just proxying for ancestry. Because there are huge genetic variations in CVD mortality across different sub-populations. For example African-Americans have signficantly higher CVD, BP and diabetes risk because of higher rates of APOL1 polymorphism.


I suspect lactose intolerance in the US is inversely correlated with wealth -- so this could just be another study showing that wealthy folks live longer.

> actose intolerance in the US is inversely correlated with wealth

I'm not well informed about the causes of lactose intolerance. Is this correlation diet-induced/environmental? Or is it a congenital/racial thing where white people be rich and everyone else is genetically intolerant?

Lactose intolerance is the norm. Tolerance is unusual in adult mammals.

In humans, it appears to be a very recent mutation, probably associated with the domestication of livestock.


The latter.

Does this mean that lack of dairy consumption is associated with a higher risk? Maybe, maybe not. I'd love to see some data that included a large group of people who are lactose-intolerant.

But whatever you read, the biggest threat to your health in many ways, will always be stress. So don't panic and remember, quality over quantity every time.

Hum, your comment also confuses me. But the study to me seem to say that Dairy consumption is good for you, and lowers the risks of death or cardiac disease. So keep drinking that milk folks!


lol. Everything food and health related comes full circle, doesn't it?

Never did like semi-skimmed milk or margarine, so I just kept on with full fat milk, butter and everything my whole life. Which occasionally has been difficult when in a shop with endless reduced and half fat choices...

It's funny to go to high end health food stores and see 0% carb, all fat and protein foods on the shelf next to 0% fat, all carb foods - both with labelling professing their health.

If this study is correct, I'm going to live forever.

The only thing that goes in circles is the marketing for processed foods. I'm sure they will continue to find new false narratives to sell their yellow-coloured grey goop and over-processed watery milk.

Unless you're buying raw/unpasteurized milk I believe all milk has the fat content separated and re-added with emulsifiers, so there's no meaningful difference in how much whole/skim milk is processed.

They mentioned funding. I looked on scihub. As far as I can tell it does not have dairy industry funding. Instead it has unrestricted grants from some governments and pharmaceutical companies worldwide.

"Dietary intakes of dairy products for 136 384 individuals were recorded using country-specific validated food frequency questionnaires."

These questionnaires are not very good methodology. This is why you get so many contradicting dietary recommendations. Dietary studies tend to rely on them because they are the cheapest option. But they make okay headlines.

I think it depends on a type of question asked.

I think low fat or normal fat dairy preference is a pretty conscious choice and eventually is habitual.

Most people would be able to answer with good accuracy what type of dairy they prefer.

If you believe in keto, then it's the consumption of whole fats, not necessarily dairy, that "lowers risk of mortality."

You don't need to consume dairy to be on keto.

....the people in the study were not on a ketogenic diet. Ketosis vs. non-ketosis is a big step change. The central premise of keto re: fat is “fats are good....because they lead to ketosis”

You’re reasoning wildly outside of the study here.

Keto (and a lack of surprise) came to my mind when I read the title too, but your point is important for anyone learning about the ketogenic diet - keto is a binary state, you're either in it or you're not (and you can do a urine test at home to tell).

There are still benefits to cutting carbs without going full keto, but not because you'll be '50% keto' or anything, just because there are other health improvements from lowering carbohydrate intake other than possible ketosis.

Most of the longest living people eat a high (complex) carbohydrate diet. What benefit do you see in lowering carbohydrate intake, unless you're conflating e.g. processed white bread with sweet potatoes?

These are very short, low IQ populations though, and i'm not. (Kitavas,Tsimane,Okinawans which again they have one of the lowest IQ & Height levels per prefecture in Japan)

>What benefit do you see in lowering carbohydrate intake, unless you're conflating e.g. processed white bread with sweet potatoes?

Being able to control my weight, my appetite, much improved HbA1c, lower LDL/TG levels, increased energy levels, no more food cravings, and fasting as part of my daily life. whereas none of these was possible on my high Complex carbs years, and i'm not talking for white bread but whole grains, beans and legumes.

I never saw any claim or study relating Keto with lower chances of mortality, got any?

The NHS website have a good summary and analysis of this study.

Moderate dairy consumption may help heart health


From the intro:

>An international team of researchers looked at dairy consumption among more than 136,000 people in 21 countries worldwide.

>They found people who had more than 2 servings of dairy products a day were 16% less likely to die or have a heart attack or stroke during an average of 9 years of follow-up.


>Most of the benefit seemed to come from milk and yoghurt, and the effect was strongest in low and middle-income countries, where dairy consumption is generally much lower than the UK.

>The question of whether benefits come from low-fat or full-fat dairy products wasn't conclusively answered in the study.

Interesting association: France is the single country with the highest saturated fat intake in Europe and the lowest rate of CHD deaths.

> France is the single country with the highest saturated fat intake in Europe

Oh interesting, do you have a source on that please ?

They are continually active, thanks to a good public transportation system.

France has low obesity, too.

According to Wikipedia:

> the incidence of obesity in French women in 2014 was 24.0% and among French men 23.8%. Overall adult obesity rates in France were significantly ahead of the Netherlands at 19.8%, Germany at 20.1% and Italy at 21.0%, but behind the United Kingdom and the United States at 28.1% and 33.7% respectively.

One hypothesis I’ve heard is whole fat tends to be more satiating so you consume less overall.

Anecdotally accurate for me. I've tended to prefer higher fat foods - preferably things like olive oil and nuts, which helps keep my mindless consumption down.

+1. I feel like I consume less (a healthier amount) overall when I consume nuts, fruit and cheese as snacks versus high carb foods, even tho nuts and cheese are quite calorie dense. I just don't find myself feeling hungry again as quickly. I haven't been logging my food recently but I definitely feel better. Same with vegetables and meat vs, say, pasta.

This fits in well with the data that cheese consumption is linked with death by getting tangled in bedsheets.


Sounds legit

Or that the divorce rate in Maine correlates with per capita consumption of margarine! (ibid)

Dairy is really bad for you.

> Dairy consumption was associated with lower risk of mortality and major cardiovascular disease events in a diverse multinational cohort

I am personally very pleased to read that, notwithstanding the need to not base anything on a single study.

This summary only talks about the effects of dairy, rather than whole-fat dairy specifically. Does the article say more?

Yes, and interestingly, the effect is only statistically significant for the group whose dairy consumption was exclusively whole-fat dairy. The group with both whole-fat and low-fat dairy had lower incidence of the studied outcomes, but it wasn't statistically significant (and both groups were large: several tens of thousands of people).

Pass the butter, please.

i can't see the funding unless i pay for it?

If you search for the name of the paper on your favourite search engine you should be able to obtain a PDF.

"Risk of mortality" is 100%, whatever you choose to eat.

Eh, just assume "per amount of time" and it works.

"World Death Rate Holding Steady At 100 Percent"


Not really, if you eat immortality inducing food, risk goes to zero.

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