Archives of Osteoporosis

, 8:119 | Cite as

Milk and yogurt consumption are linked with higher bone mineral density but not with hip fracture: the Framingham Offspring Study

  • Shivani SahniEmail author
  • Katherine L. Tucker
  • Douglas P. Kiel
  • Lien Quach
  • Virginia A. Casey
  • Marian T. Hannan
Original Article



Dairy foods are a complex source of essential nutrients. In this study, fluid dairy intake, specifically milk, and yogurt intakes were associated with hip but not spine bone mineral density (BMD), while cream may adversely influence BMD, suggesting that not all dairy products are equally beneficial for the skeleton.


This study seeks to examine associations of milk, yogurt, cheese, cream, most dairy (total dairy without cream), and fluid dairy (milk + yogurt) with BMD at femoral neck (FN), trochanter (TR), and spine, and with incident hip fracture over 12-year follow-up in the Framingham Offspring Study.


Three thousand two hundred twelve participants completed a food frequency questionnaire (1992–1995 or 1995–1998) and were followed for hip fracture until 2005. Two thousand five hundred and six participants had DXA BMD (1996–2001). Linear regression was used to estimate adjusted mean BMD while Cox-proportional hazards regression was used to estimate adjusted hazard ratios (HR) for hip fracture risk. Final models simultaneously included dairy foods adjusting for each other.


Mean baseline age was 55 (±1.6) years, range 26–85. Most dairy intake was positively associated with hip and spine BMD. Intake of fluid dairy and milk was related with hip but not spine BMD. Yogurt intake was associated with TR-BMD alone. Cheese and cream intakes were not associated with BMD. In final models, yogurt intake remained positively associated with TR-BMD, while cream tended to be negatively associated with FN-BMD. Yogurt intake showed a weak protective trend for hip fracture [HR(95%CI), ≤4 serv/week, 0.46 (0.21–1.03) vs. >4 serv/week, 0.43 (0.06–3.27)]. No other dairy groups showed a significant association (HRs range, 0.53–1.47) with limited power (n, fractures = 43).


Milk and yogurt intakes were associated with hip but not spine BMD, while cream may adversely influence BMD. Thus, not all dairy products are equally beneficial for the skeleton. Suggestive fracture results for milk and yogurt intakes need further confirmation.


Dairy Milk Yogurt Bone mineral density Hip fracture Dietary intake Bone health 



This work was supported by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (AR # 053205 and also AR/AG41398) and by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute’s Framingham Heart Study (N01-HC-25195), the Melvin First Young Investigator Award and General Mills Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition.

Authors would like to thank Miss. Brianne Jeffrey from the Institute for Aging Research, Hebrew SeniorLife for her general assistance with this project.

Conflicts of interest

Dr. Sahni and Dr. Tucker have grants from General Mills Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition.


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Copyright information

© International Osteoporosis Foundation and National Osteoporosis Foundation 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shivani Sahni
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Katherine L. Tucker
    • 3
  • Douglas P. Kiel
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lien Quach
    • 1
  • Virginia A. Casey
    • 1
  • Marian T. Hannan
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Aging ResearchHebrew SeniorLife and Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Health SciencesNortheastern University School of Health ProfessionalsBostonUSA

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