If you’ve been drinking milk daily to help strengthen your bones, you might be on the wrong track, new research from Sweden suggests.
Why milk is not helpful for your bones
The study found that drinking milk doesn’t boost bone strength. Instead, the opposite can occur. The investigation suggested that drinking three or more glasses of milk daily increased the risk of bone thinning (often a precursor of osteoporosis), bone fractures – and death – in women.
Drinking milk didn’t benefit men’s bones either. To reach their conclusions, the researchers followed 61,433 women (aged 39-74 years in 1987-1990) for an average of 20 years and 45,339 men (aged 45-79 years in 1997) for an average of 11 years. The participants completed food frequency questionnaires for 96 common foods including milk, yogurt and cheese.
This isn’t the first investigation to conclude that drinking milk doesn’t build bones in adults. In fact, this new analysis showed that instead of milk, you’re better off eating cheese or fermented milk products (yogurt) – each serving reduced hip fractures and death rates by 10-15 percent.
These findings don’t surprise me. They’re not the first – and I doubt they’ll be the last – to suggest that drinking milk doesn’t prevent the bone thinning that can lead to osteoporosis. I do not recommend consuming milk to prevent osteoporosis. The notion that milk is good for all of us throughout life has been fostered by the dairy industry.
Although we all need calcium and vitamin D, you can obtain calcium from cooked greens (especially collards) as well as broccoli and tofu, molasses and sesame seeds. As for vitamin D, I recommend that all adults take a daily supplement of 2,000 IU since our need for this important nutrient is difficult to meet from diet alone (your body makes vitamin D with exposure to sunlight, but many people remain deficient).
To build bone mass when you’re young, eat plenty of green vegetables that provide calcium and vitamin D, get adequate physical activity and avoid smoking and consuming large amounts of soda, coffee, alcohol and sugar, all of which promote loss of bone density.
To preserve bone mass in midlife and old age, you need regular strength training (sometimes called resistance exercise).
Whether you have osteopenia, osteoporosis, or a family or lifestyle risk of this potentially fatal disease then you need information to help you deal with it most effectively. Progesterone helps build bone in men and women and recommended by bioidentical doctors like Dame Dr Shirley Bond for those with osteoporosis.