A new paper published in the European Journal of Epidemiology claims that scientists at the Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health (IFNH) at the University of Reading delved into the results of 29 research projects involving nearly 1 million people — documenting some 93,000 deaths — and finding no evidence of dairy products being at fault.
In the final analysis of the research, the study, paid for in part by an unrestricted grant from dairy industry trade groups, including US-based Global Dairy Platform, the Dairy Research Institute in India, and Dairy Australia, asserted that dairy is, well, safe as milk.
Results in the industry-funded analysis found that there was no correlation between the amount of cheese, yogurt and milk products a person consumes and their risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). In one study, the researchers gave the impression that cheese consumption could actually result in lowering the risk of CVD in a person, according to Newsweek.
Researchers primarily studied participants' diets with an eye toward the amount of dairy products consumed, alongside the rate of CVD, coronary heart disease (CHD) and death. As reported in the publication, 938,465 participants were studied, and those included 93,158 deaths, 28,419 CHD cases and 25,416 instances of CVD.
"This meta-analysis combining data from 29 prospective cohort studies showed there were no associations between total dairy, high- and low-fat dairy, milk and the health outcomes including all-cause mortality, CHD or CVD," the authors of the study concluded, indicating that there is no association between consuming a lot of dairy products and contracting CVD or CHD, which could in turn cause an early death.
"Further analyses of individual fermented dairy of cheese and yogurt showed cheese to have a two percent lower risk of CVD per 10 g/day, but not yogurt," the study results asserted.
A co-author of the study was quoted as saying: "This latest analysis provides further evidence that a diet that is high in dairy foods is not necessarily damaging to health."