“Milk” by Mike Mozart is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Study Finds No Link Between Dairy Fats and Heart Disease or Mortality

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Milk” by Mike Mozart is licensed under CC BY 2.0Marcia C. de Oliveira Otto, PhD, FAHA
Assistant Professor
Division of Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences
University of Texas
Houston, TX 77030-3900 |

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Our research adds to a growing body of evidence showing no harm in relation to heart disease or overall mortality associated with consumption of whole-fat dairy foods.

The findings also indicate that one of three fatty acids present in dairy fat was linked to lower risk of stroke among older adults. To the best of our knowledge, ours was the first large study to use repeated measures of fatty acids over time and evaluate association with mortality in older adults, which allowed us to expand and contribute to this important debate regarding fat intake and health.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Making judgments about food healthfulness based on one nutrient alone may lead to confusion and misinformation. When it comes to healthy eating patterns, it is very important not to select or avoid any food based on a single nutrient, but to look at the food as a whole.

Dairy foods are rich in essential nutrients such as calcium and potassium, in addition to dairy fat, which seems not to be linked to heart disease or overall mortality, however further studies are needed to replicate and expand our findings (see my answer below).

We hope our research and others can serve to inform ongoing discussions about whole-fat dairy.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work? 

Response: These findings in older adults need to be confirmed and further investigated in other populations in order to strengthen the body of evidence on this important issue. Also, further research is needed to better understand potential mechanisms linking dairy fat and fatty acids present in dairy to stroke development. 

Disclosures: Funding for our research was provided by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the of the National Institutes of Health under award number R01HL085710.


Marcia C de Oliveira Otto Rozenn N Lemaitre Xiaoling Song Irena B King David S Siscovick Dariush Mozaffarian. Serial measures of circulating biomarkers of dairy fat and total and cause-specific mortality in older adults: the Cardiovascular Health Study.The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2018 DOI: 10.1093/ajcn/nqy117

[wysija_form id=”3″]


The information on MedicalResearch.com is provided for educational purposes only, and is in no way intended to diagnose, cure, or treat any medical or other condition. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health and ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. In addition to all other limitations and disclaimers in this agreement, service provider and its third party providers disclaim any liability or loss in connection with the content provided on this website.


Last Updated on July 16, 2018 by Marie Benz MD FAAD