Inflammation and oxidative stress are associated with and increased risk for cardiovascular disease. 1 Research has suggested that milk and other dairy products have been shown to increase inflammation and oxidative stress. 1 Antioxidants from fruits and vegetables may help combat the oxidative stress and inflammation that may arise from result from increased dairy consumption.

A study recently published in American Journal of Epidemiology used food frequency questionnaires to survey over 90,000 Swedish women and 40,000 Swedish men from separate cohort studies. The results were tabulated in hazard ratios. A hazard ratio is the measurement of impact of an intervention, in this case fruit, vegetable consumption and dairy, on an outcome such as all cause mortality over time.  A hazard ratio of 1, indicates the groups have the same likelihood of the outcome. The researchers found:

  • Those who consumed three or more glasses of milk and less than one serving of fruits and vegetables per day had a mortality HR of 2.79 for women and 1.31 for men
  • Those who consumed three or more glasses of milk and at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day had a HR of 1.6 for women and 1.07 for men

Why is this Clinically Relevant?

  • Eating 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day may reverse the potential impact of oxidative stress and inflammation from consumption of 3 or more glasses of milk per day
  • Antioxidants in fruits and vegetables may reduce the oxidative stress and inflammation often attributed to increased dairy consumption


Link to abstract

1 Michaëlsson K, Wolk A, Melhus H, Byberg L. Milk, Fruit and Vegetable, and Total Antioxidant Intakes in Relation to Mortality Rates: Cohort Studies in Women and Men. American Journal of Epidemiology. October 2017

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