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Nutrients 2017, 9(10), 1134; doi:10.3390/nu9101134

Milk Intake at Midlife and Cognitive Decline over 20 Years. The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study

1
Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, USA
2
Department of Biostatistics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, USA
3
Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, USA
4
Department of Internal Medicine, Comprehensive Heart Failure Center, University of Wuerzburg, 97070 Würzburg, Germany
5
Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA
6
Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 August 2017 / Revised: 29 August 2017 / Accepted: 10 October 2017 / Published: 17 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition and Ageing)
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Abstract

Background: Faster rates of cognitive decline are likely to result in earlier onset of cognitive impairment and dementia. d-galactose, a derivative of lactose, is used in animal studies to induce neurodegeneration. Milk is the primary source of lactose in the human diet, and its effects on cognitive decline have not been fully evaluated. Objective: Assess the association of milk intake with change in cognitive function over 20 years. Methods: A total of 13,751 participants of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) cohort completed a food frequency questionnaire and three neurocognitive evaluations from 1990 through 2013. Two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were used to determine lactase persistence (LCT-13910 C/T for Whites and LCT-14010 G/C for Blacks). Mixed-effects models were used to study the association of milk intake with cognitive change. Multiple imputations by chained equations were used to account for attrition. Results: Milk intake greater than 1 glass/day was associated with greater decline in the global z-score over a 20-year period. The difference in decline was 0.10 (95% CI: 0.16, 0.03) z-scores, or an additional 10% decline, relative to the group reporting “almost never” consuming milk. Conclusions: Replication of these results is warranted in diverse populations with greater milk intake and higher variability of lactase persistence genotype. View Full-Text
Keywords: lactose; lactase persistence; oxidative stress; cognitive decline; dementia; aging lactose; lactase persistence; oxidative stress; cognitive decline; dementia; aging
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Petruski-Ivleva, N.; Kucharska-Newton, A.; Palta, P.; Couper, D.; Meyer, K.; Graff, M.; Haring, B.; Sharrett, R.; Heiss, G. Milk Intake at Midlife and Cognitive Decline over 20 Years. The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study. Nutrients 2017, 9, 1134.

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