Drinking milk may keep osteoarthritis at bay in women

Updated: Apr 07, 2014, 20:55 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

Washington: Drinking milk may not just benefit bones or teeth, but may also keep your knees healthy as well.

Research suggests that women who frequently consume fat-free or low-fat milk may delay the progression of osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee.

According to the findings, women who ate cheese saw an increase in knee OA progression.

Yoghurt, however, did not impact OA progression in men or women.

“Milk consumption plays an important role in bone health,” explained lead author Bing Lu from Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.

OA is a common, degenerative joint disease that causes pain and swelling of joints in the hand, hips or knee.

Around 2,148 people with knee OA participated in the study.

Researchers collected dietary data and measured joint space width by x-ray at the start of the study to evaluate OA progression.

As the intake of milk increased from none to less than 3, 4-6, and more than 7 glasses per week, the joint space width in women also decreased by 0.38mm, 0.29mm,0.29mm and 0.26mm, respectively.

Results persisted even after adjusting for disease severity, body mass index (BMI) and dietary factors.

However, in case of men, no association between milk consumption and joint space width decrease was reported.

“Our findings indicate that women who frequently drink milk may reduce the progression of OA,” Lu said.

The research has been published in the journal Arthritis Care & Research.

With Agency Input