Is drinking milk linked to Parkinson’s disease?

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Scientists from Uppsala University in Sweden found a weak link between drinking milk and Parkinson’s disease.

They also found drinking fermented milk was not linked to an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease.

The research is published in Nutrients and was conducted by Erika Olsson et al.

Milk and fermented milk-drinking have been linked to health and death risks but the association with Parkinson’s disease is unclear.

In the study, the team examined whether milk and fermented milk drinking is associated with Parkinson’s disease.

Fermented milk products are created when milk ferments with specific kinds of bacteria called Lactobacilli or Bifidobacteria.

Fermentation means the milk is partially digested by the bacteria. This makes the milk product easier to digest, especially for people who have milk allergies or are lactose-intolerant.

Recent studies have found that consuming fermented milk products, particularly yogurt, is strongly associated with various measures of weight control, including less obesity, lower body weight, reduced body fat, and reduced weight gain over time.

These effects may result from healthier gut microbiota.

The current study included 81,915 Swedish adults who completed a questionnaire, including questions about milk and fermented milk (soured milk and yogurt) intake, in 1997. The average age of the participants was 62.

The team identified Parkinson’s patients through linkage with the Swedish National Patient and Cause of Death Registers.

During a follow-up of 15 years, the team found that 1251 Parkinson’s disease cases were identified.

Compared with no or low milk consumption, drinking milk was linked to a slightly increased risk of Parkinson’s disease. Fermented milk intake was not linked to Parkinson’s disease.

The team concluded a weak association between milk drinking and increased risk of Parkinson’s but no dose-response link. Fermented milk intake was not linked to an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease.

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