Total Dairy Consumption Is Not Associated With Likelihood of a First Clinical Diagnosis of Central Nervous System Demyelination

Publication Name

Frontiers in Neurology


Background: The evidence associating consumption of dairy products and risk of MS is contradictory and inconclusive. Objective: To test associations between dairy consumption and the likelihood of a first clinical diagnosis of central nervous system demyelination (FCD), a common precursor to MS. Methods: We used data from the 2003–2006 Ausimmune Study, a population-based Australian, multicentre, matched case-control study (272 cases, 519 controls). Total dairy consumption (servings/day) was calculated by summing consumption of milk, cheese and yogurt. Covariate-adjusted treatment effects using augmented inverse probability weighting was used to test for associations with FCD. We conducted sensitivity analyses in the subset of participants who had had a classic first demyelinating event (FDE), defined as a single, first episode of symptoms suggestive of CNS demyelination. Results: There were no statistically significant associations between total dairy consumption (per one serving/day) and FCD (adjusted OR 1.00; 95% CI 0.93, 1.07; p = 0.979). However, yogurt consumption (vs. no yogurt consumption) was associated with an 11% decreased likelihood of FDE (adjusted OR 0.89; 95% CI 0.89, 0.79; p = 0.046). Conclusion: While total dairy consumption was not associated with FCD in this Australian case-control study, yogurt consumption was associated with reduced likelihood of FDE.

Open Access Status

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Article Number


Funding Number

NMSS RG 3364A1/2

Funding Sponsor

National Multiple Sclerosis Society



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