Researchers at the Institute for Aging Research (IFAR) at Hebrew SeniorLife, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, has found that not all dairy products are equally beneficial in promoting strength.
Specifically, the study, which was recently published in the journal Archives of Osteoporosis, found that milk and yogurt are associated with higher bone mineral density (BMD) in the hip, but not the spine, while cream may be associated with lower BMD overall.
“Dairy foods provide several important nutrients that are beneficial for bone health,” says lead author Shivani Sahni, Ph.D., Musculoskeletal Research Team, IFAR. “However, cream and its products such as ice cream have lower levels of these nutrients and have higher levels of fat and sugar. In this study, 2.5 to 3 servings of milk and yogurt intake per day were associated with better bone density. More research is needed to examine the role of cheese intake (some of which can be high in fat and sodium), and whether individual dairy foods have a significant impact in reducing fractures.”
Thirty-four million Americans have low bone density, putting them at increased risk for osteoporosis and fractures, especially of the hip, spine and wrist. About one-quarter of those who suffer a hip fracture die within a year of the injury.