Dairy Products and Bone Health
Researchers have found that there are only selected dairy products such as milk and yogurt that may be associated with higher bone mineral density (BMD) but only in the hip area (exclusive of the spine). Cream and other forms, such as ice cream may be associated with lower BMD because of their low nutrient level and high fat and sugar content.
The findings by lead author Shivani Sahni, Ph.D., were published in the journal Archives of Osteoporosis.
The research, completed by more than 3,000 participants from Framingham Offspring study, involved a food frequency questionnaire about dairy product consumption which was then compared with the participants’ BMD measurements.
The study showed that the composition of nutrients in dairy foods varies. Intake of low-fat milk or yogurt was found to increase the levels of protein, vitamin D and calcium in the body and reduce absorption of saturated fats, compared to cream. The study therefore showed that milk and yogurt could benefit middle-aged men and women more than other products like cream. However, more research is necessary on the impact of individual dairy food such as cheese where some types of cheese may be high in sodium and fat.
The study promotes proper nutrition to battle against osteoporosis and fractures. In the US alone, there are around 10 million people who have the disease, which is considered a major threat in public health for about 44 million Americans, half of which are 50 years old and above. Furthermore, there are 34 million Americans with low BMD who are at risk of osteoporosis and fractures particularly in the wrist, spine, and hip. Health care expenditures is expected to reach $25 billion by year 2025 from an estimated $19 billion costs incurred in 2005 due to fractures related to osteoporosis.
Hebrew SeniorLife Institute for Aging Research. New study sheds light on link between dairy intake and bone health: Not all dairy products are equal. ScienceDaily.