Suck It, Anti-milk Crackpots!

(apologies if you’re genuinely lactose-intolerant)

Meta-analyses suggest a reduction in risk in the subjects with the highest dairy consumption relative to those with the lowest intake: 0.87 (0.77, 0.98) for all-cause deaths, 0.92 (0.80, 0.99) for ischaemic heart disease, 0.79 (0.68, 0.91) for stroke and 0.85 (0.75, 0.96) for incident diabetes.

Heavy dairy consumers have a 0.87 relative risk for all-cause deaths compared to dairy-avoiders.   The numbers (0.77,0.98) are the 95% confidence intervals - i.e. the actual relative risk is almost certainly somewhere between 77% and 98%.  A relative risk of .87 means that you’re 13% less likely to die (only (87% as likely to) if you consume a lot of dairy than those who abstain.

This is not a prospective study, so you can’t know that increasing dairy intake now will definitely make you less likely to die.