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Does milk strengthen bones or melt?


We all heard the words about drinking milk to strengthen our bones as a child. Milk contains calcium. Calcium is also known as a necessary …

Does milk strengthen bones or melt?

We all heard the words about drinking milk to strengthen our bones as a child. Milk contains calcium. Calcium is also known as a necessary mineral for bone density. However, it is not so easy to prove that there is a definite link between milk consumption and strengthening of bones.

To prove this, it is necessary to conduct an experiment with two large groups, one of them drinking plenty of milk over the years, while the other group should be given a placebo beverage with the appearance of milk. But it is difficult to apply it in practice.

Instead, the following can be done: Thousands of people were asked how much milk they had drunk in the past years and then observed for at least 10 years to determine if there were fewer cases of bone breakage in regular milk drinkers.

In the USA, Harvard University had done such a research in 1997. 77 thousand female nurses were observed for 10 years. However, there was no significant difference in the number of cases of arm and hip fractures between those who drank a glass of milk a week and those who drank two or more glasses a week.


A similar result was obtained in the research of the same team with 330 thousand men.

When 15 different studies in this area were examined by a New Zealand team in 2015, it was observed that a calcium-rich diet, including drinking milk, increased calcium density in the bone for two years, but then this increase ceased.

As an alternative to dietary calcium, calcium supplements can be made with pills. However, there are concerns that supplements have a negative impact in the long term.

When the New Zealand team examined 51 studies, they compared the advantages of calcium supplements and their negative effects in the long run, and they found that the strengthening of the bones stopped after a year or two.

Calcium supplementation did not stop loss due to aging in bone density, it only delayed it. The team concluded that this only corresponded to a slight reduction in bone fracture rate.

When the same data were analyzed in different countries, different suggestions emerged in terms of the amount of calcium that should be taken daily. For example, the amount recommended in the USA was nearly twice that in Britain and India. It is recommended to drink about three cups of milk a day in the USA.

In a study conducted in Sweden in 2014, it was concluded that drinking more than three glasses of milk a day does not bring more benefits to bones, and may even be harmful.

In a study conducted by Uppsala University and Karolinska Institute, people were first asked how much milk they drank in 1987, then the same question was repeated in 1997.

When the mortality rate among these people was examined in 2010, it was seen that more bone breakage and early mortality rate were found in those who had a glass of milk a day.


However, this research also had some problems. People were asked how much milk they had consumed in previous years, it may not have been possible to accurately predict this, as milk consumption could have been in different ways.

In addition, the biggest problem with such research was also evident here: Are the two events really interrelated or is there any cause-effect relationship?

Another result that was confusing in the same research was the establishment of a link between cheese and yogurt consumption and a lower fracture rate.

While the researchers advise people about nutrition, these results are too early to underpin, similar research should be repeated. Based on these results, it is recommended to be cautious about changing the diet.

In short, we can say that according to the available data, there is no problem in continuing to drink milk. Milk can be beneficial for bone health. But this benefit may not be as long as we think.

It is also necessary to apply other methods that are effective in terms of bone health. Exercise and nutrition such as taking enough vitamin D in the winter, where there is no sun and excess sun, through supplementing vitamin D in the winter.



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