Milk Fat Causes More Aging?

By /

Receive a Regenexx® Patient Info Packet by email and learn why it's a superior regenerative solution.

By submitting the form, you are agreeing that you read and consent to our Privacy Policy. We may also contact you via email, phone, and other electronic means to communicate information about our products and services. We do not sell, or share your information to third party vendors. Your submitted information is used only for the purposes of providing you with information about Regenexx.

milk fat and aging

Can drinking whole milk make you age faster? That’s the crazy conclusion of a recent study, but regrettably, nobody seems to have noticed that the study results make no sense or at least tell a different story than the one the news media has been slinging. So let’s dive in.

The New Study

A recent study from Brigham Young University purportedly found a correlation between drinking milk with various fat-levels and cellular signs of aging. In this study of 5, 834 American adults the authors found a link between drinking whole milk and shorter telomere lengths. The people who drank milk with a lower fat content had longer telomeres.

What’s a Telomere?

Telemores are nucleotide sequences capping our DNA strands, not unlike the plastic at the ends of shoelaces that prevent fraying. The word is derived from the Greek (telos, which means long and meros, meaning part). As the cell divides, it chops off a little bit of the telomere and as a result, as we age, our telomeres get shorter. Hence, in these types of studies, shorter telomeres are associated with aged cells.

Milk and Telomeres

This study correlated telomere-length with the consumption of milk of varying fat-levels; for every 1% increase in fat, telomeres were roughly 69 base pairs shorter. The widest gap—from whole milk intake to skim milk intake—showed even shorter telomeres. Yet, a particular finding of the study seems to raise more questions than it answers; those who did not drink milk at all showed shorter telomere lengths than those who drank 1% or nonfat milk.

That’s a serious problem for this study. Meaning, if milk fat was causing telomeres to shorten, those who drank no milk should have telomere lengths the same as those who drank non-fat milk. Hence, the media’s hysterical headlines like these:

Drinking 1% rather than 2% milk accounts for 4.5 years of less aging in adults!

High-fat milk drinkers may age faster than low-fat milk lovers, study finds

Drinking 1% Rather than 2% Milk Accounts for 4.5 Years of Less Aging in Adults

Aren’t supported by the study results! In fact, it’s not clear how the study even got published with conclusions like this one:

“In the current study, those reporting regular high-fat milk intake (full-fat or 2%) had substantially shorter telomeres, on average, than those consuming low-fat milk (1% or nonfat), indicating that high-fat milk intake goes hand-in-hand with increased cellular aging. “

Turns out that the authors recognized that the whole study may have been an association is causation fallacy.

Association=Causation Fallacies

A long time ago a study was done that showed that coffee drinkers had higher rates of cancer and the alarm bells in the media sounded. However, it turns out that coffee drinkers also smoke more, which accounted for the association. So we all need to be very careful about drawing any conclusions in a study that finds A is associated with B. Especially when the data doesn’t add up as is the case in this study.

Here’s what the study authors said: “However, individual foods are seldom eaten in isolation…Adults who preferred nonfat milk consumed less dietary fat and less saturated fat, as well as more dietary fiber, than their counterparts…However, it is possible that other dietary differences account for some of the biological aging differences among the milk fat categories.”

Meaning all the study may have done is to identify various subtypes of people who do other things to protect their health.

Fat is a Great Concentrator of Toxic Chemicals

Many of the toxic chemicals in our environment are soluble in fat. That means that they tend to concentrate in the fat we find in the foods we eat. Hence, the study could be showing that milk fat exposure is merely a proxy for toxic chemical exposure. However, then there’s the telomere length of the people who drank no milk.

The upshot. NEVER trust the headlines on any science story! The media’s job is to sell clicks and eyeballs. This study is a mess and certainly doesn’t prove that milk fat has anything to do with aging faster. Hence, if you like whole milk, find a good organic producer who is less likely to have cows exposed to chemicals and drink up!

_______________________________

References:

(1) Tucker LA. Milk Fat Intake and Telomere Length in U.S. Women and Men: The Role of the Milk Fat Fraction. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2019;2019:1574021. Published 2019 Oct 28. doi: 10.1155/2019/1574021

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Chris Centeno, MD

Regenexx Founder

Chris Centeno, MD is a specialist in regenerative medicine and the new field of Interventional Orthopedics. Centeno pioneered orthopedic stem cell procedures in 2005 and is responsible for a large amount of the published research on stem cell use for orthopedic applications.
View Profile

Get Blog Updates by Email

Get fresh updates and insights from Regenexx delivered straight to your inbox.

By submitting the form, you are agreeing that you read and consent to our Privacy Policy. We may also contact you via email, phone, and other electronic means to communicate information about our products and services. We do not sell, or share your information to third party vendors. Your submitted information is used only for the purposes of providing you with information about Regenexx.

Find a Regenexx Provider

Regenexx is a world-wide network of specially trained physicians providing the world's most advanced, research-driven, regenerative-medicine treatments in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia.

Regenerative procedures are commonly used to treat musculoskelatal trauma, overuse injuries, and degenerative issues, including failed surgeries.
Select Your Problem Area
Shoulder

Shoulder

Many Shoulder and Rotator Cuff injuries are good candidates for regenerative treatments. Before considering shoulder arthroscopy or shoulder replacement, consider an evaluation of your condition with a regenerative treatment specialist.

  • Rotator Cuff Tears and Tendinitis
  • Shoulder Instability
  • SLAP Tear / Labral Tears
  • Shoulder Arthritis
  • Other Degenerative Conditions & Overuse Injuries
Learn More
Cervical Spine

Spine

Many spine injuries and degenerative conditions are good candidates for regenerative treatments and there are a number of studies showing promising results in treating a wide range of spine problems. Spine surgery should be a last resort for anyone, due to the cascade of negative effects it can have on the areas surrounding the surgery. And epidural steroid injections are problematic due to their long-term negative impact on bone density.

  • Herniated, Bulging, Protruding Discs
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • SI Joint Syndrome
  • Sciatica
  • Pinched Nerves and General Back Pain
  • And more
Learn More
Knee

Knees

Knees are the target of many common sports injuries. Sadly, they are also the target of a number of surgeries that research has frequently shown to be ineffective or minimally effective. Knee arthritis can also be a common cause for aging athletes to abandon the sports and activities they love. Regenerative procedures can be used to treat a wide range of knee injuries and conditions. They can even be used to reduce pain and delay knee replacement for more severe arthritis.

  • Knee Meniscus Tears
  • Knee ACL Tears
  • Knee Instability
  • Knee Osteoarthritis
  • Other Knee Ligaments / Tendons & Overuse Injuries
  • And more
Learn More
Lower Spine

Spine

Many spine injuries and degenerative conditions are good candidates for regenerative treatments and there are a number of studies showing promising results in treating a wide range of spine problems. Spine surgery should be a last resort for anyone, due to the cascade of negative effects it can have on the areas surrounding the surgery. And epidural steroid injections are problematic due to their long-term negative impact on bone density.

  • Herniated, Bulging, Protruding Discs
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • SI Joint Syndrome
  • Sciatica
  • Pinched Nerves and General Back Pain
  • And more
Learn More
Hand & Wrist

Hand & Wrist

Hand and wrist injuries and arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and conditions relating to overuse of the thumb, are good candidates for regenerative treatments. Before considering surgery, consider an evaluation of your condition with a regenerative treatment specialist.
  • Hand and Wrist Arthritis
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Trigger Finger
  • Thumb Arthritis (Basal Joint, CMC, Gamer’s Thumb, Texting Thumb)
  • Other conditions that cause pain
Learn More
Elbow

Elbow

Most injuries of the elbow’s tendons and ligaments, as well as arthritis, can be treated non-surgically with regenerative procedures.

  • Golfer’s elbow & Tennis elbow
  • Arthritis
  • Ulnar collateral ligament wear (common in baseball pitchers)
  • And more
Learn More
Hip

Hip

Hip injuries and degenerative conditions become more common with age. Do to the nature of the joint, it’s not quite as easy to injure as a knee, but it can take a beating and pain often develops over time. Whether a hip condition is acute or degenerative, regenerative procedures can help reduce pain and may help heal injured tissue, without the complications of invasive surgical hip procedures.

  • Labral Tear
  • Hip Arthritis
  • Hip Bursitis
  • Hip Sprain, Tendonitis or Inflammation
  • Hip Instability
Learn More
Foot & Ankle

Foot & Ankle

Foot and ankle injuries are common in athletes. These injuries can often benefit from non-surgical regenerative treatments. Before considering surgery, consider an evaluation of your condition with a regenerative treatment specialist.
  • Ankle Arthritis
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Ligament sprains or tears
  • Other conditions that cause pain
Learn More

Is Regenexx Right For You?

Request a free Regenexx Info Packet

REGENEXX WEBINARS

Learn about the #1 Stem Cell & Platelet Procedures for treating arthritis, common joint injuries & spine pain.

Join a Webinar

RECEIVE BLOG ARTICLES BY EMAIL

Get fresh updates and insights from Regenexx delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to the Blog

CONTACT US

9035 Wadsworth Pkwy #1000
Westminster, CO 80021
888-525-3005

FOLLOW US

Copyright © Regenexx 2020. All rights reserved. | Privacy Policy

*DISCLAIMER: Like all medical procedures, Regenexx® Procedures have a success and failure rate. Patient reviews and testimonials on this site should not be interpreted as a statement on the effectiveness of our treatments for anyone else.

Providers listed on the Regenexx website are for informational purposes only and are not a recommendation from Regenexx for a specific provider or a guarantee of the outcome of any treatment you receive.

LinkedIn
Email