Published: Dec. 16, 2010 at 12:12 AM
(UPI) -- Drinking three glasses of milk per day may lead to an 18 percent decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, a review by U.S. and Dutch researchers found.
The review, conducted at Wageningen University in the Netherlands and Harvard University in Boston, examined 17 studies from Europe, the United States and Japan, and found no link between the consumption of regular or low-fat dairy and any increased risk of heart disease, stroke or total mortality.
"Milk and dairy are the most nutritious and healthy foods available and loaded with naturally occurring nutrients, such as calcium, potassium and protein, to name a few," Dr. Cindy Schweitzer, technical director, Global Dairy Platform, says in a statement.
The amount of dairy recommended per day varies by country but in the United States and some European countries, three servings of dairy foods are recommended daily, Schweitzer says. Many avoid dairy products out of concern that dairy causes heart disease.
To the contrary, U.S. researchers examined 21 studies that included data from nearly 350,000 people and concluded that dietary intakes of saturated fats are not associated with increases in the risk of either coronary heart disease or cardiovascular disease, the review says.
Another study of 23,366 Swedish men who consumed calcium above the recommended daily levels may reduce their risk of mortality from heart disease and cancer by 25 percent, while Australian researchers say their 16-year study of 1,529 Australian adults found people who ate the most full-fat dairy had a 69 percent lower risk of cardiovascular death than those who ate the least.
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