Milk Doesn't Add to Heart Risk

It may even protect against it

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Did you give up drinking milk long ago because you assumed it contributes to the risk of heart disease?

New British research suggests that there may never have been anything to worry about in the first place. Indeed, a study of nearly 6,000 men found that those who drank more than one-third of a pint of milk a day had a lower risk of heart disease, plus reduced risk of death from all causes, the Electronic Telegraph reports.

Some people also shun milk because they perceive it as being high in fat. The animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) capitalizes on such concerns in its anti-milk campaign, which promotes a vegan way of life. Ananova describes the group's "Dump Dairy" drive in the United Kingdom. In addition to heart disease, PETA's Milk Sucks Web site claims that milk causes allergies, constipation, diabetes, obesity and prostate cancer.

But nutrition experts say milk can be a nutritious part of many diets. A previous HealthDay story explains that milk and other dairy products provide one of the richest sources of calcium for many people. Concerns about fat shouldn't be a problem, either. Most doctors already recommend low-fat or fat-free dairy products.

Milk can be a genuine problem, however, for people who are lactose intolerant. The National Dairy Council explains the problem and recommends that anyone who has difficulty digesting dairy should have a doctor diagnose the cause. For those with confirmed lactose intolerance, the site offers useful advice for including lactose-reduced dairy products in the diet.

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