Drinking milk can delay knee problem in women

Women who frequently consume fat-free or low-fat milk may delay the progression of osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee, research indicates. The findings showed that women who ate cheese saw an increase in knee OA progression. Yogurt, however, did not impact OA progression in men or women.

“Milk consumption plays an important role in bone health,” explained lead author Bing Lu from Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. OA is a common, degenerative joint disease that causes pain and swelling of joints in the hand, hips or knee. For the study, 2,148 participants with knee OA were recruited.

At the start of the study, dietary data was collected and joint space width was measured by x-ray to evaluate OA progression. As the intake of milk increased from none to less than 3, 4-6, and more than 7 glasses per week, the joint space width in women also decreased by 0.38mm, 0.29mm,0.29mm and 0.26mm, respectively. Results persisted even after adjusting for disease severity, body mass index (BMI) and dietary factors.

No association between milk consumption and joint space width decrease was reported in men. “Our findings indicate that women who frequently drink milk may reduce the progression of OA,” Lu said in the study published in the journal Arthritis Care & Research.

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