How to Diet: Is Drinking Milk Good for Your Knees?

Drinking milk may slow the progression of osteoarthritis of the knee.


U.S. scientists studied 2,148 people who had osteoarthritis in at least one knee. After four years, women who reported drinking 1 to 3 glasses of milk a week had a 33 percent lower risk of arthritis progression—based on X-rays of their knee cartilage—than those who said they drank none. Women who reported drinking at least 7 glasses of milk a week had a 44 percent lower risk of progression. There was much less evidence that milk had an impact on knee arthritis in men.

In contrast, women (but not men) who reported eating at least 7 servings of cheese a week had a higher risk of progression than those who said they ate no cheese. Yogurt had no impact on arthritis progression.

What to do: It’s too early to know if milk can slow arthritis. Something else about the milk drinkers may explain why their knees fared better than those of non-milk drinkers or cheese eaters. Stay tuned.

Source: Arthritis Care Res. 2014. doi:10.1002/acr.222972014.


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