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Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2019 Jun 14:1-14. doi: 10.1080/09637486.2019.1625035. [Epub ahead of print]

Dairy foods and health: an umbrella review of observational studies.

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a Oasi Research Institute - IRCCS , Troina , Italy.
b SmartFood Program, Department of Experimental Oncology , IEO, European Institute of Oncology IRCCS , Milan , Italy.
c NNEdPro Global Centre for Nutrition and Health , St John's Innovation Centre , Cambridge , UK.
d Wolfson College at the University of Cambridge , Cambridge , UK.
e Nutrition Innovation Centre for Food and Health , Ulster University , Ulster , UK.
f Rimini Women's Health, Childhood and Adolescent Department , AUSL Romagna , Rimini , Italy.
g University of Milano - Biccoca , Milan , Italy.
h Care and Public Health Research Institute , Maastricht University , Maastricht , The Netherlands.
i Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Policlinico-Vittorio Emanuele , Catania , Italy.
j Food and Nutrition Security and Public Health Service , ASP Catania , Catania , Italy.
k Integrated Cancer Registry of Catania-Messina-Siracusa-Enna , Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Policlinico-Vittorio Emanuele , Catania , Italy.
l Biomedical Department of Internal and Specialist Medicine (DIBIMIS) , University of Palermo , Palermo , Italy.
m Medical Research Council (MRC) Human Nutrition Research Unit , Cambridge , UK.
n Laboratory of Phytochemicals in Physiology, Department of Food and Drug , University of Parma , Parma , Italy.
o Laboratory of Phytochemicals in Physiology, Department of Veterinary Science , University of Parma , Parma , Italy.
p Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences , University of Catania , Catania , Italy.


Evidence on consumption of dairy foods and human health is contradictory. This study aimed to summarize the level of evidence of dairy consumption on various health outcomes. A systematic search for meta-analyses was performed: study design, dose-response relationship, heterogeneity and agreement of results over time, and identification of potential confounding factors were considered to assess the level of evidence. Convincing and probable evidence of decreased risk of colorectal cancer, hypertension and cardiovascular disease, elevated blood pressure and fatal stroke, respectively, was found for total dairy consumption; possible decreased risk of breast cancer, metabolic syndrome, stroke and type-2 diabetes, and increased risk of prostate cancer and Parkinson's disease was also found. Similar, yet not entirely consistent evidence for individual dairy products was reported. Among potential confounding factors, geographical localisation and fat content of dairy have been detected. In conclusions, dairy may be part of a healthy diet; however, additional studies exploring confounding factors are needed to ascertain the potential detrimental effects.


Dairy products; butter; cheese; cohort; evidence; meta-analysis; milk; prospective; umbrella review; yogurt

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