According to recent research, women who consume fat-free or low-fat milk frequently may delay the progression of osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. The research’s results also suggest women who ate cheese observed an increase in knee OA progression, yet yogurt was not found to impact OA progression in men or women.

According to a news release from Wiley, the study encompassed a total of 2,148 participants who were recruited for the Osteoarthritis Initiative. At the study’s start, dietary data was gathered and joint space width measured by x-ray to evaluate OA progression. The subjects were comprised of 888 men and 1,260 women who had follow-up at 12, 24, 36, and 48 months.

The release notes that as the intake of milk rose from none to less than 3, 4 to 6, and more than 7 (8 ounce) glasses per week, a decrease was seen in joint space width in women, by 0.38 millimeters, 0.29 millimeters, 0.29 millimeters, and 0.26 millimeters, respectively. Researchers report that results persisted after adjusted for disease severity, body mass index (BMI), and dietary factors. No link between milk consumption and joint space width decrease was reported in men.

Bing Lu, MD, DrPH, lead author, Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, Mass, points out that milk consumption plays a key role in bone health and, “Our findings indicate that women who frequently drink milk may reduce the progression of OA.”

Lu adds that further investigation into milk intake and delay in OA progression is required.

The study appears in the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) journal Arthritis Care & Research.

Source(s): Wiley, Science Daily