Eating dairy may protect aging bones

To protect your bone health as you age, and reduce your risk of fractures, should you try eating more dairy products?

Yes, that’s a logical conclusion of a fascinating new randomized controlled trial in Australia, notes Dr. Bret Scher, Medical Director of Diet Doctor.

“I really love this study. It was so well done,” explains Dr. Scher in his DD News video. 

The study followed more than 7,000 elderly patients living in 60 residential care homes and found that those whose diets were supplemented with more yogurt, cheese, and milk had significantly lower risks of falls and fractures than those whose diets were the usual care-home menu.

British Medical Journal: Effect of dietary sources of calcium and protein on hip fractures and falls in older adults in residential care: cluster randomised controlled tria

“It makes such a really good control trial, in that you know what they’re eating because you’re providing them with their food,” explains Dr. Scher. “It turns out, they didn’t need much time to show some impressive benefits.”

In fact, within three months, the elderly residents randomized to the higher dairy intake were showing a reduced incidence of falls. By five months, they had a reduced incidence of fractures.

“That’s just five months of eating extra milk, cheese and yogurt,” said Dr. Scher.

It was likely the extra protein, as well as the extra calcium and other integral nutrients found in the whole food dairy products that contributed to the benefit, Dr. Scher notes.

“Why is this better than calcium supplements? Well, to me it makes total sense because it’s real food,” said Dr. Scher.

If you want to improve your bone health, check out Diet Doctor’s guide on bone health.

Diet Doctor: How to improve your bone health

Twice each week, Dr. Scher takes one or more scientific studies in the fields of nutrition, exercise, health, or disease and carefully analyses the researchers’ methods and findings. In doing so, he helps you better understand how to judge the quality of various research papers and make informed decisions about your own health and wellness. 

You can find more of Dr. Scher’s news videos on the Diet Doctor Youtube Channel. Subscribe to the feed so that you don’t miss any of his videos.

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