New Study Breaks Down Link Between Dairy Intake and Bone Health
A new study led by scientists from the IFAR (Institute for Aging Research) reveals that different dairy products have different beneficial effects on bone strength across the body. The research team found out that cream is associated to a lower overall BDM (bone mineral density) while milk and yogurt are associated with a nigher BDM, although only in the hip, without a major impact on the BDM of the spine. The Institute for Aging Research is an affiliate of the Harvard Medical School and has recently published its paper in the journal Archives of Osteoporosis.
Lead author of the study, Shivani Sahni, a member of the IFAR Musculoskeletal Research Team, says that all dairy foods are responsible for providing important nutrients for the health of bones. She adds that cream and products made from cream, such as ice cream, have a lower nutrient level than other dairy products and contain higher levels of sugars and fat. The current study reveals the fact that a daily intake of 2-3 servings of milk and yogurt is linked to an improved bone density. However, scientists say that further research is needed in order to observe whether cheese intake has a beneficial effect on bone density and to see whether the intake of individual dairy foods has an important beneficial effect on bone health and fractures.
More than 3,200 patients were included in the study. Researchers gathered data through a food frequency questionnaire. All patients are also part of the Framingham Offspring study. The data gathered from the patients regarding their daily dairy intake was then compared with their BDM measurement. The comparison shows that milk and yogurt have higher beneficial effects than cream, especially in adult patients. The study also reveals that the nutrient levels differ greatly between different dairy products. For example, the intake of low-fat milk or yogurt is related to higher levels of proteins, vitamin D and calcium, whilst being related to a lower level of saturated fats.
The link between food intake and bone health has only recently become a focus of scientific studies. Precedent studies in this domain reveal that each dairy product contains more than one nutrient that is beneficial to bone health, thus having researchers suggest that some dairy products have a higher beneficial effect on bone health.
The current paper, along with other previous studies in the same domain suggest that a healthy nutrition is able to prevent osteoporosis or even fractures. Osteoporosis is known to be a major health problem in the United States, affecting more than 50% of people aged 50 or above.