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Milk loving Swedes could suffer from high intake

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Milk loving Swedes could suffer from high intake
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08:49 CET+01:00
A new Swedish study suggests that there are more health risks connected to drinking milk than were previously believed. It could be an especially big problem in a country renowned for its love of dairy products.

It might be time to forget all you have heard about milk increasing your bone strength.

Researchers from Uppsala University in eastern Sweden have found that women who drink a lot of milk run a higher risk of getting bone fractures.

Their study even suggests that there is a connection between high milk consumption and a higher mortality rate - although they are yet to prove that milk is the cause. 

"What we found was that a high intake of milk gave higher risks," Professor Karl Michaëlsson told Swedish broadcaster SVT.

"Women died earlier and had higher instances of fractures when they drank large amounts of milk. Men also had higher mortality rates, but we did not see any increase in broken bones among them."

For every extra glass of milk women drank per day, their mortality rate increased by 15 percent. The corresponding figure for men was 3 percent. 

The study, which was published in the British Medical Journal, followed over 100,000 Swedes for a period of 20 years. 

It concluded that a high intake of milk "might have undesirable effects" as the drink is the main dietary source of D-galactose.

The researchers warned that the results should be interpreted cautiously.

But Professor Michaëlsson admitted that the study had stopped him from drinking milk.

Data from the Food and Agriculture Organization showed that in 2007, Swedes drank more milk per capita than any other nation. A typical Swede consumes 340 kilogrammes a year, the organization found. 

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