People who consumed more than one serving per day of skim and low-fat milk, had a 39 per cent greater chance of developing Parkinson’s compared to those who consumed less than one serving per week, according to a study.
The findings, published in the journal Neurology, showed that for people who consumed at least three servings of low-fat dairy a day had a 34 per cent greater chance of developing Parkinson’s than people who consumed less than one serving per day.
Eating sherbet or frozen yogurt also was linked to a modest increased risk.
“The results provide evidence of a modest increased risk of Parkinson’s with greater consumption of low-fat dairy products. Such dairy products, which are widely consumed, could potentially be a modifiable risk factor for the disease,” said Katherine C. Hughes, from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.
For the study, the team analysed approximately 25 years of data on 80,736 women and 48,610 men.
Participants in these studies completed health questionnaires every two years and diet questionnaires every four years. During that time, 1,036 people developed Parkinson’s.
In a meta-analysis, looking at a group of studies, the researchers found that total dairy intake was associated with an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease.
“Frequently consuming low-fat dairy products was associated with a modest increased risk of Parkinson’s disease,” Hughes said.
However, more research is needed before recommendations can be made about dairy consumption, the researchers said.