Study Suggests Daily Consumption of Milk Is Not Associated with Increased Risk of Cholesterol

Happy young Caucasian mother and little preschooler daughter sit at kitchen table baking eating cookies together, smiling mom have fun with small girl child teach bakery enjoy family weekend at homeAccording to a new study from the International Journal of Obesity, regular milk consumption is not associated with increased cholesterol levels. This new research was conducted following several contradictory studies which had previously suggested a link between higher dairy intake and cardiometabolic diseases such as diabetes and obesity.

The study looked at three large population studies and found that people who regularly consumed high amounts of milk had lower bad and good cholesterol levels. However, their BMI levels were higher than non-milk drinkers.


Researchers looked at a variation in the lactase gene associated with the digestion of milk sugars known as lactose. By taking this genetic approach to milk consumption, it was able to identify a genetic variation in some people who can digest lactose. These participants stood out to the researchers as those who consumed higher levels of milk.

Prof Vimal Karani, Professor of Nutrigenetics and Nutrigenomics at the University of Reading said:

“We found that among participants with a genetic variation that we associated with higher milk intake, they had higher BMI, body fat, but importantly had lower levels of good and bad cholesterol. We also found that those with the genetic variation had a significantly lower risk of coronary heart disease. All of this suggests that reducing the intake of milk might not be necessary for preventing cardiovascular diseases.”

Relationship with Genetic Variation

The UK biobank data did show a link between those who had the genetic variation and an 11% lower risk of type 2 diabetes. However, it did not suggest any strong evidence for a relationship between higher milk consumption and increased likelihood of diabetes. There was also no connection found to any related traits such as glucose or inflammatory biomarkers.

Further analysis of larger studies also suggests that those who have a higher milk consumption rate have a 14% lower risk of coronary heart disease.

Researchers want to clarify that milk consumption is not a significant issue for cardiovascular disease, even though it may be responsible for a rise in BMI and body fat. Further studies are needed to understand the relationship between milk and cholesterol. The question remains if the fat content in dairy products is contributing to the lower cholesterol levels or if it is due to an unknown milk factor.

Author Bio

Sarah began her interest in nutritional healing at an early age. After going through health problems and becoming frustrated with the conventional ways doctors wanted to treat her illness (which were not working), she took it upon herself to find alternative treatments. This led her to revolutionize her own diet to help her get healthier and tackle her health problems. She began treating her illness by living a more balanced lifestyle through healthy food choices, exercise and other alternative medicine such as meditation. This total positive lifestyle change led her to earn a diploma in Nutritional Therapy from Health Sciences Academy in London, England. Today, Sarah enjoys helping others by teaching healthy lifestyle changes through her personal consultations and with her regular contributions to the Doctors Health Press. Also, passionate about following her dreams in life, Sarah moved to France and lived in Paris for over 5 years where she earned a certification in beadwork and embroidery from Lesage (an atelier owned by Chanel). She then went on to be a familiar face sitting front row and reporting from Paris Fashion Week. Sarah continues to practice some of the cultural ways of life she learned while in Europe. They enjoy their food, and take the time to relax and enjoy many of life’s little moments. These are life lessons she is glad to have brought back home with her.