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Fitness Investigates: Behind Milk Myths

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Can Milk Affect Cardiovascular Health?

Headline: Milk Every Day Keeps Cardiovascular Disease Away

A recent study of Japanese men and women found that calcium intake from dairy products was associated with a reduced risk of stroke. Another 2005 study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health showed that men who drank the most milk each day had a lower risk of heart disease or stroke than those who drank the least milk.

Expert Take: The Japanese study participants filled out questionnaires that detailed their overall eating habits. So again, it's hard to tell whether the calcium alone reduced disease risk. And despite the fact that whole milk also protects against heart disease, saturated fat (in whole milk) does raise LDL levels and heart attack risk, says Alice Lichtenstein, a professor of nutrition science and policy at Tufts University.

What to Do: Keep on eating low-fat dairy products.

Originally published in Fitness magazine, May 2006.


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