16 September 2006

Drink milk for stronger bones?

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition have extensively reviewed earlier studies of this assertion — however, after some reservations...

Dairy foods varied widely in their content of nutrients known to affect calcium excretion and skeletal mass. Foods such as milk and yogurt are likely to be beneficial; others, such as cottage cheese, may adversely affect bone health.

...they went on to state that “most had outcomes that were not significant” or in other words, they can’t tell for sure, either way.

However, they were able to say that ingesting dairy was probably helpful for white females under 30 years. Scratch me on two grounds.

These values suggest that there is little risk of harm to the skeletal system if recommendations to the general population to consume dairy foods are heeded. However, these values do not provide a solid body of evidence to support this recommendation.

So... not as clear as was once thought, but based on the premises of the study, probably not too harmful.

One wonders about the generations of school-children being widely fed milk products, which I clearly remember signposts about from the few years after I finished school myself.

I suspect that the basic rule is the same as for most other fads: check first.

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