Objective To examine the association of milk consumption with insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome.
Methods The association was examined in 4024 British women aged 60–79 who were randomly selected from primary care centres in 23 towns.
Results Women who never drank milk had lower homeostasis model assessment insulin resistance (HOMA) scores, triglyceride concentrations and body mass indices, and higher high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol concentrations, than those who drank milk. The age-adjusted odds ratio for the metabolic syndrome comparing non-milk drinkers with drinkers was 0.55 (0.33, 0.94), which did not attenuate with adjustment for potential confounders. Diabetes was less common in non-milk drinkers.
Conclusion Individuals who do not drink milk may be protected against insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome. However, randomized controlled trials are required to establish whether milk avoidance is causally associated with these outcomes.