Is Milk Actually Good For Strengthening Bones?

Since kids, we’ve been told that milk contains calcium which helps improve bone mineral density, but that hasn’t exactly been proven

Is Milk Actually Good For Strengthening Bones?

A definitive link between the consumption of milk and the possession of strong bones has never actually been proven, the closest that people have gotten to proving this, is a research study conducted by Harvard University and published in 1997.

The study implied following a number of 77,761 women who had never used calcium supplements that were aged 34 through 59 years in 1980 for 12 years. The study involved some of them had to drink one glass a milk a week or less, while others had to drink two or more. The results of this study showed no evidence that higher intake of calcium from milk reduces arm or hip fracture. A similar study was later conducted on 331,234 men over an 8 years period, and again, calcium from milk did not make a difference to forearm and hip fracture rates.

Scientists also thought about researching the effect of calcium from dietary supplements only, so they combined, reviewed and analyzed 51 different such controlled trials and they found that the increase in bone strength stops after a year or two and that calcium supplements can only slow down rather than stop the loss of bone mineral density in old age, concluding that it is unlikely to lead to a clinically significant reduction in risk of fracture.

Later in 2014, researchers at Uppsala University and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden ran two studies, one in 1987 and one in 1997, when they questioned people about their milk consumption. The final conclusion was that drinking more than three glasses of milk per day would not help your bones and might even be harmful. It seems that drinking a glass of milk a day was associated with more broken bones and with early deaths. Moreover, the Swedish researchers found that cheese and yogurt consumption was associated with lower fracture rates.

Until more precise studies are carried out it seems that it is still alright to continue to drink milk in a balanced way, as well as keeping our bones strong through exercise and getting enough vitamin D from food, from sunshine, or from supplements during winter.