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Research papers – dairy and multiple sclerosis

Find out more about the research studies that discuss the impact of dairy on multiple sclerosis.

Published research illustrating the impact of diet found in April 2023 in a project between A McConnell and Dr Jonathan White.


Dairy and multiple sclerosis


Paper: Antibody cross-reactivity between casein and myelin-associated glycoprotein results in central nervous system demyelination

Journal: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2022; 119 (10)

Conclusions: According to the lab-based study, a protein (casein) in cow’s milk can trigger inflammation that targets the ‘insulating layer’ around nerve cells. The study was able to demonstrate this link in mice, but also found evidence of a similar mechanism in humans. The researchers therefore recommend that certain groups of sufferers avoid dairy products.


Paper: The extracellular region of bovine milk butyrophilin exhibits closer structural similarity to human myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein than to immunological BTN family receptors

Journal: Journal of Biological Chemistry, Vol 402, Issue 10, 2021

Description: While there is less structural resemblance to members of the human butyrophilin family such as BTN3A, which play a role as immune receptors, the N-terminal bovine butyrophilin subdomain shows surprising similarity to the human myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein, a protein exposed on the surface of myelin sheaths. Thus, our study lends structural support to earlier hypotheses of a correlation between the consumption of cow milk and prevalence of neurological autoimmune diseases and may offer guidance for the breeding of cattle strains that express modified butyrophilin showing less immunological cross-reactivity.


Paper: Milk and Health

Journal: N Engl J Med 2020; 382:644-654

Conclusions: A recent review in the New England Journal of Medicine, showing how dairy consumption was tied to increased risk of bone fractures, prostate cancer, endometrial cancer, asthma, eczema and food allergies.


Paper: Lifetime Impact of Cow’s Milk on Overactivation of mTORC1: From Fetal to Childhood Overgrowth, Acne, Diabetes, Cancers, and Neurodegeneration

Journal: Biomolecules,  2021 Mar 9;11(3):404

Description: This review presents current epidemiological and translational evidence linking milk consumption to the regulation of mTORC1, the master-switch for eukaryotic cell growth. Epidemiological studies confirm a correlation between cow’s milk consumption and birthweight, body mass index, onset of menarche, linear growth during childhood, acne vulgaris, type 2 diabetes mellitus, prostate cancer, breast cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, neurodegenerative diseases, and all-cause mortality.


Paper: Health risks related to milk consumption: a critical evaluation from the medical perspective

Journal: MMW Fortschr Med, 2021 Apr;163(Suppl 4):3-9

Background: Recent epidemiological studies associate the consumption of non-fermented cow’s milk, but not fermented milk products, with an increased risk of diseases of civilization.

Objectives: Presentation of epidemiological and pathophysiological data on health risks associated with milk consumption.

Method: Selective PubMed surveys between 2005-2020 considering epidemiological studies which clearly differentiate between non-fermented versus fermented milk and its potential health risks.

Results: Epidemiological studies confirm a correlation between milk consumption and birthweight, linear growth during puberty, acne vulgaris, type 2 diabetes mellitus, prostate cancer, breast cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Parkinson’s disease and over-all mortality. In comparison to milk consumption, the intake of fermented milk/milk products exhibits neutral to beneficial health effects, which are explained by attenuated mTORC1 signaling due to bacterial fermentation of milk.

Conclusions: Long-term persistent consumption of non-fermented milk, but not fermented milk/milk products, might increase the risk of diseases of civilization. The avoidance of milk, especially pasteurized fresh milk, may enhance the prevention and reduce the recurrence of common Western diseases of civilization.


Selected references extracted from the main book by Professor George Jelinek. The Diet section is covered on pages 71-147 of the book and includes a total of 150 scientific evidence-based research articles.


Paper: Correlation analysis between bovine populations, other farm animals, house pets, and multiple sclerosis prevalence.

Journal: Neuroepidemiology. 1993; 12(1):15-27

Description: Research showing there is a strong correlation between cows milk consumption and MS all around the world. Countries where cow’s milk consumption is high have high rates of MS.


Paper: Correlation between milk and dairy product consumption and multiple sclerosis prevalence: a worldwide study

Journal: Neuroepidiology. 1992;11(4-6);304-312

Description: Research showing there is a strong correlation between cows milk consumption and MS all around the world. Countries where cow’s milk consumption is high have high rates of MS.


Paper: Butyophilin, a milk protein, modulates the encephalitogenic T cell response to myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein in experimental auto-immune encephalomyelitis

Journal: J Immunol. 2000;165(5):2859-2865

Description: Research showing there is a strong correlation between cows milk consumption and MS all around the world. Countries where cow’s milk consumption is high have high rates of MS.


Paper: T cells of multiple sclerosis patients target a common environmental peptide that causes encephalitis in mice

Journal: J Immunol. 2001;166(7):489-499

Description: Study showing how cow’s milk proteins have been shown to be targeted by the immune cells of PwMS.


Paper: Tolerance induction by molecular mimicry; prevention and suppression of experimental auto-immune encephalomyelitis with the milk protein butyrophilin

Journal: Int Immunol.2004;16(3);489-499

Description: Research demonstrating how certain proteins in cow’s milk mimic part of myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein, the part of myelin thought to initiate the auto-immune reaction in MS.