Milk cause osteoporosis (Image via Unsplash/Anita)

Can drinking milk cause osteoporosis? A study-based analysis

The debate over whether milk causes osteoporosis has recently intensified, challenging the traditional view of milk as a beneficial source of calcium for bone health. This paradoxical claim has spurred scientific investigations into the relationship between dairy consumption and the development of osteoporosis, a condition marked by weakened bones and increased fracture risk.

Long considered a dietary staple for its calcium richness, milk's role in bone health is now being reevaluated. Emerging studies suggest a complex interaction, with some research indicating that high milk intake might not only be ineffective in preventing osteoporosis but could also contribute to its onset.

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This article delves into a study-based analysis of these claims, examining the latest research on how milk consumption impacts bone density and osteoporosis risk.


Can drinking milk cause osteoporosis? Delving into studies

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Milk cause osteoporosis (Image via Unsplash/An Vision)

1. Consumption of milk and dairy products and risk of osteoporosis and hip fracture: a systematic review and Meta-analysis

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The meta-analysis revealed that total dairy intake was inversely associated with the risk of osteoporosis in cross-sectional and case-control studies. However, milk consumption alone did not show a significant association with osteoporosis risk.

Notably, every additional 200-gram intake of dairy and milk was associated with a reduced risk of osteoporosis. In terms of hip fracture, a 25 percent reduced risk was observed only in cross-sectional and case-control studies but not in cohort studies.

It led to the conclusion that a greater intake of milk and dairy products was not associated with a lower risk of osteoporosis and hip fracture.


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2. Dairy product consumption and risk of hip fracture: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Milk cause osteoporosis (Image via Unsplash/Ave Calvar)
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The study found that consumption of yogurt and cheese was associated with a lower risk of hip fracture in cohort studies. However, consumption of total dairy products and cream was not significantly associated with the risk of hip fracture.

The association between milk consumption and hip fracture risk was unclear. Evidence suggested a lower threshold of 200 g/day milk intake may have beneficial effects, while the effects of higher intake are uncertain.


3. Systematic review and meta-analysis of the association between dairy consumption and the risk of hip fracture

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The analysis noted that reductions in the risk of hip fracture with milk consumption were observed among American adults. This is possibly due to milk products being more commonly fortified with vitamin D than in Scandinavian countries.

Higher consumption of yogurt, but not milk or cheese, was associated with a lower risk of hip fracture. The study concluded that the risk of hip fracture may not be elevated among people who consume milk, yogurt, and cheese and that greater consumption of milk or yogurt might be associated with a lower risk of hip fracture depending on the population.


4. Effects of Milk and Dairy Products on the Prevention of Osteoporosis and Osteoporotic Fractures in Europeans and Non-Hispanic Whites from North America: A Systematic Review and Updated Meta-Analysis

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This review found no clear association between the highest consumption of dairy products and the total risk of osteoporotic fractures or hip fractures. However, a diminished risk of vertebral fracture was described. The results regarding bone mass density (BMD) change were heterogeneous and did not allow for a definitive conclusion.


5. Milk and other dairy foods and risk of hip fracture in men and women

Milk cause osteoporosis (Image via Unsplash/Jagoda)
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This study among US men and women reported that a glass of milk per day was associated with an 8 percent lower risk of hip fracture, contrasting with a reported increased risk with higher milk intake in Swedish women. Higher milk consumption was associated with a lower risk of hip fracture in this group of older US adults.


In summary, these studies indicate a complex relationship between milk consumption and the risk of osteoporosis and hip fractures. While some findings suggest a potential protective effect of dairy products, particularly at moderate levels of consumption, other studies do not establish a clear beneficial link, highlighting the need for more targeted research to understand these associations fully.

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Edited by
Ankush Das
 
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