Dairy products and health: a review of the epidemiological evidence

Br J Nutr. 2006 Aug;96 Suppl 1:S94-9. doi: 10.1079/bjn20061709.


Evidence-based nutrition is essential to move forward in the science of community nutrition. The present study is a review of the epidemiological evidence of dairy products and health. There is an inverse association between the intake of dairy products and hypertension, stroke and colorectal cancer. There is no evidence of an association between the consumption of dairy products and breast cancer. There is some evidence linking high-fat dairy products and an incremental risk of prostate cancer and weak evidence of the protective capacity of dairy products on bone health. More prospective studies should be developed in order to establish better evidence of the relationship between dairy products and health. Due to the importance of dairy products in public health nutrition, quantitative recommendations should be established in the light of the scientific evidence.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Breast Neoplasms
  • Calcium, Dietary / administration & dosage
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Dairy Products*
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Fats / adverse effects
  • Epidemiologic Studies
  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Micronutrients / administration & dosage
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Osteoporosis / prevention & control
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / etiology
  • Risk Assessment


  • Calcium, Dietary
  • Dietary Fats
  • Micronutrients