More dairy associated with higher bone density and greater spine strength in men over 50

April 05, 2018

BOSTON -- Researchers from Hebrew SeniorLife's Institute for Aging Research (IFAR), Wageningen University, Tilburg University, University of Reading, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) have discovered that higher intake of dairy foods, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese, is associated with higher volumetric bone mineral density and vertebral strength at the spine in men. Dairy intake seems to be most beneficial for men over age 50, and continued to have positive associations irrespective of serum vitamin D status.

In women, researchers found no significant results except for a positive association of cream intake in the cross sectional area of the bone.

Study participants included 1,522 men and 1,104 women from the Framingham Study, aged 32-81 years. Researchers examined quantitative computed tomography (QCT) measures of bone to determine associations with dairy intake.

Shivani Sahni, Ph.D., Director Nutrition Program and Associate Scientist at IFAR and senior author of the study said, "This study related dairy intake with QCT- derived bone measures, which are unique because they provide information on bone geometry and compartment-specific bone density that are key determinants of bone strength. The results of this study highlight the beneficial role of a combination of dairy foods upon bone health and these beneficial associations remain irrespective of serum vitamin D status in a person."

The results of this study were published recently in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Density.
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This research was supported by: NIH AR # 053205; FHS N01-HC-25195 R01 AR/AG 41398, unrestricted institutional research grant from Dairy Management Inc., Miss. van Dongen's internship was supported by funds from the Dutch Dairy Organization and Global Dairy Platform.

About the Institute for Aging Research

Scientists at the Institute for Aging Research seek to transform the human experience of aging by conducting research that will ensure a life of health, dignity and productivity into advanced age. The Institute carries out rigorous studies that discover the mechanisms of age-related disease and disability; lead to the prevention, treatment and cure of disease; advance the standard of care for older people; and inform public decision-making. The Musculoskeletal Center within IFAR studies conditions affecting bone, muscle, and joint health with aging.

About Hebrew SeniorLife

Hebrew SeniorLife, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, is a national senior services leader uniquely dedicated to rethinking, researching and redefining the possibilities of aging. Based in Boston, the non-profit, non-sectarian organization has provided communities and health care for seniors, research into aging, and education for geriatric care providers since 1903. For more information about Hebrew SeniorLife, visit http://www.hebrewseniorlife.org, follow us on Twitter @H_SeniorLife, like us on Facebook or read our blog.

Hebrew SeniorLife Institute for Aging Research

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