The medical equation of whether or not a person will suffer from osteoporosis in later life looks something like this: bone mass accumulated through the adolescent years minus bone mass lost every subsequent year equals risk for osteoporosis and fractures in the future.
And as a function of acquiring optimum bone mass during adolescence, milk consumption has always been factored in because calcium, magnesium and potassium is highly prevalent in dairy products.
But recent research published in JAMA Pediatrics has revealed that maybe when it comes to milk, there’s a threshold that once crossed, may actually be counterproductive over the long haul. That’s because height also determines hip fracture risk and milk consumption is associated with greater height, at least in men.
Dr Connie M Weaver and colleagues from Purdue University studied data pertaining to 96,000 adults consisting of white menopausal women from the Nurse’s Health Study and men age 50 and older from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. At baseline, they asked adolescents from 13-18 about frequency of milk consumption; they also recorded their height at that point.
Through 22 years of follow up consisting of biennial questionnaires regarding current smoking, dietary habits, physical activity, medication usage and other risk factors they discovered an association between milk consumption and a greater risk of hip fracture in men later in life.
Specifically, after followup they recorded 1226 hip fractures in women and 490 in men; they discovered that each additional glass of milk per day was associated with a 9% increase in hip fracture risk. The same did not hold true for female participants.
Osteoporosis is the most common form of bone disease and is caused by a loss in bone density; bone density measures the amount of calcium and other minerals in the bone.
Over half of women over 50 will experience a fracture in the hip, wrist or vertebrae due to the disease.