Got milk? For older women, drinking several glasses a week might help slow the progression of painful knee osteoarthritis.

A new study from Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston found that women with osteoarthritis who weren't drinking milk but increased their consumption to seven or more 8-ounce glasses a week saw a decrease in the progression of the disease. For men, however, drinking milk did not have the same beneficial effect. Other dairy products, such as yogurt, had no benefits in slowing osteoarthritis, and eating cheese made the condition worse.

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Because of intense joint pain, osteoarthritis can make everyday activities difficult. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says osteoarthritis affects about 27 million Americans, most of them 60 and older.

The study was published earlier this year in the medical journal Arthritis Care & Research.