Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Dairy consumption does not elevate heart-attack risk, study suggests

Date:
May 18, 2011
Source:
Brown University
Summary:
Analysis of dairy intake and heart attack risk found no statistically significant relation in thousands of Costa Rican adults. Dairy foods might not harm heart health, despite saturated fat content, because they contain other possibly protective nutrients, researchers say.

Though high in saturated fat, dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt and buttter didn't contribute to heart attack risk in a study of thousands of people in Costa Rica, researchers said. They suspect that beneficial ingredients in the products offset the risk from the fat.
Credit: iStockphoto/Maris Zemgalietis

Dairy products can be high in harmful saturated fat but not necessarily in risk to the heart. A newly published analysis of thousands of adults in Costa Rica found that their levels of dairy consumption had nothing to do statistically with their risk of a heart attack.

"Things like milk and cheese are very complex substances," said Stella Aslibekyan, a community health graduate student at Brown University and the lead author of the study, published in advance online May 4 in the journal Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases. "We looked at [heart attack risk and] dairy products in their entirety and then looked at separate components of those dairy products, including fats, and it turns out that the results are null. Perhaps the evidence is not there."

Rather than suggesting that the saturated fats in dairy products are harmless, Aslibekyan and co-author Ana Baylin, an adjunct assistant professor of community health at Brown, hypothesize that other nutrients in dairy products are protective against heart disease, for all but perhaps the highest dairy consumption quintile in their study. The potentially beneficial nutrients include calcium, vitamin D, potassium, magnesium and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).

To conduct the study, Aslibekyan and Baylin analyzed data on 3,630 middle-aged Costa Rican men and women who participated in an epidemiological study between 1994 and 2004 by co-author Hannia Campos of the Harvard School of Public Health.

They split the study population between two equal groups: 1,815 "cases" who had non-fatal heart attacks and 1,815 comparable "controls" who did not. The researchers looked not only at the subjects' self-reported dairy intake, but also at measurements of dairy fat biomarkers, namely 15:0 and 17:0, in their bodies.

What they found is that the dairy intake of people who had heart attacks was not statistically different than the intake of people who did not. After breaking people into quintiles, based on their dairy consumption amount, there was no significant linear relationship between consumption and heart risk, even among the most voracious consumers. The highest consumption quintile consumed an average of 593 grams of dairy foods a day.

When the researchers controlled for such risk factors as smoking, waist-to-hip ratio, alcohol intake, and physical activity, the lack of a statistically significant association between dairy intake and heart attack risk remained. They also tracked and adjusted the data for levels of CLA and calcium and found they may have a protective effect. Protective effects lessened in the highest quintile, however.

Baylin likened the nutritional complexity of dairy products to that of eggs, which were once a source of intense consumer concern because of their cholesterol content, but are now viewed in a more complex way because they, too, have seemingly protective nutrients.

"The message is that it is important to look at the net effect of whole foods and dietary patterns and not only isolated nutrients" Baylin said.

Since conducting the study at Brown, Baylin has been appointed an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Aslibekyan, who will graduate from Brown May 29 with a PhD, is already employed as a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

The National Institutes of Health funded the research with grant HL60692.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Brown University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. S. Aslibekyan, H. Campos, A. Baylin. Biomarkers of dairy intake and the risk of heart disease. Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, 2011; DOI: 10.1016/j.numecd.2011.02.003

Cite This Page:

Brown University. "Dairy consumption does not elevate heart-attack risk, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110518105728.htm>.
Brown University. (2011, May 18). Dairy consumption does not elevate heart-attack risk, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110518105728.htm
Brown University. "Dairy consumption does not elevate heart-attack risk, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110518105728.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

AP (July 22, 2014) Sounding alarms about the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, CDC Director Tom Frieden warned Tuesday if the global community does not confront the problem soon, the world will be living in a devastating post-antibiotic era. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins