Large-scale cohort studies have a tough time proving that one thing causes another, but they can raise interesting questions about strong correlations. This week, for instance, saw a published study which found that people who drink more milk may have less pain and slower progression of osteoarthritis, an affliction which strikes roughly a third of adults in the U.S.:
[The researchers] found that increasing milk consumption was associated with slower progression of the disease in women. In men, only those who consumed the most milk — seven or more glasses a week — saw the effect. More than 90 percent of the people in the study drank fat-free or low-fat milk, and the study did not find the effect with cheese and other dairy products.
It is possible, of course, that people who drink more milk are just healthier in every way, and that the milk is merely a signpost of that lifestyle than the cause of arthritis prevention. But we can safely assume that the milk isn’t causing any joint distress – and that upping your intake of liquid dairy may, in fact, represent a doorway to safer living. That being said, it is extremely important for growing children, lactating women, and postmenopausal women to ensure adequate calcium intake. That threshold may more easily be met with calcium supplements. Most of the better quality supplements will also have the necessary Vitamin D dosage as well. For further details reach out to your primary care physician or me to answer your questions.
We’ve spent lots of time in previous posts to discuss how to manage arthritis. We have now also touched on measures to try to prevent it. So try it if you like and see if that glass a day keeps the knee pain at bay. As an expert in orthopedic surgery, I have certainly seen enough chronic joint pain to know that every preventive measure is worth a shot.