Dairy foods and health: an umbrella review of observational studies

Justyna Godos, Maria Tieri, Francesca Ghelfi, Lucilla Titta, Stefano Marventano, Alessandra Lafranconi, Angelo Gambera, Elena Alonzo, Salvatore Sciacca, Silvio Buscemi, Sumantra Ray, Daniele Del Rio, Fabio Galvano, Giuseppe Grosso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Evidence on consumption of dairy foods and human health is contradictory. This study aimed to summarize the level of evidence of dairy consumption on various health outcomes. A systematic search for meta-analyses was performed: study design, dose–response relationship, heterogeneity and agreement of results over time, and identification of potential confounding factors were considered to assess the level of evidence. Convincing and probable evidence of decreased risk of colorectal cancer, hypertension and cardiovascular disease, elevated blood pressure and fatal stroke, respectively, was found for total dairy consumption; possible decreased risk of breast cancer, metabolic syndrome, stroke and type-2 diabetes, and increased risk of prostate cancer and Parkinson’s disease was also found. Similar, yet not entirely consistent evidence for individual dairy products was reported. Among potential confounding factors, geographical localisation and fat content of dairy have been detected. In conclusions, dairy may be part of a healthy diet; however, additional studies exploring confounding factors are needed to ascertain the potential detrimental effects.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019


  • butter
  • cheese
  • cohort
  • Dairy products
  • evidence
  • meta-analysis
  • milk
  • prospective
  • umbrella review
  • yogurt

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science


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