High milk consumption might shorten life span through increased oxidative stress. We aimed to determine whether higher mortality rates with high milk consumption are modified by fruit and vegetable intake or total antioxidant intake (oxygen radical absorbance capacity). We used information from food frequency questionnaires completed by 61,420 women in a Swedish cohort (22,391 deaths from the 1987-1990 baseline onward), 36,714 women from a second survey (1997) of this cohort, and 45,280 Swedish men (15,478 deaths from the 1998 baseline onward). Compared with low consumption of milk (<1 glass/day) and high consumption of fruits/vegetables (≥5 servings/day), time-updated information revealed an adjusted hazard ratio for death of 2.79 (95% confidence interval (CI): 2.42, 3.21) in women who consumed ≥3 glasses of milk/day and <1 serving/day of fruit/vegetables and a hazard ratio of 1.60 (95% CI: 1.40, 1.82) in women who consumed the same amount of milk but ≥5 servings/day of fruits/vegetables. The same comparisons in men, based on a single food frequency questionnaire, displayed hazard ratios of 1.31 (95% CI: 1.14, 1.51) and 1.07 (95% CI: 0.97, 1.18), respectively. Total antioxidant consumption showed similar patterns as fruit/vegetable intakes. Dietary antioxidant intake, especially in women, seems to modify the elevated death rate associated with high milk consumption.
Keywords: antioxidants; fruit; galactose; lactose; milk; mortality; oxidative stress; vegetables.
© The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.