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The effect of milk consumption on bone and fracture incidence, an update

Abstract

Milk is a major source of high bioavailable calcium in most developed countries with an average calcium content of 1150 mg/L, providing a ready means of meeting the daily requirements. Its content in other minerals, phosphorus, vitamins, iodine, proteins, potassium and various nutrients is supposed to be beneficial for skeleton growth and bone strength. Studies on the effects of milk or whey extracts in animal trials and on surrogate markers in humanlike bone remodeling markers or bone mineral density and many observational studies in large cohorts show positive effects on bone health or risk of hip fracture. Nevertheless, a few contradictory epidemiological studies showed an increased risk of hip fractures in subjects drinking higher quantities of milk. These conflicting results may be due to the large number of confounders and methodological issues as recall bias. Most of the experts state that there are no proven effect of milk consumption on the risk of hip fractures in a way or the other. Of a scientific point of view, there is no reason to remove from the diet of large populations an aliment rich in calcium and other interesting nutrients.

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Correspondence to Patrice Fardellone.

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The author is a consultant for CANDIA and investigator in a clinical trial for DANONE.

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Fardellone, P. The effect of milk consumption on bone and fracture incidence, an update. Aging Clin Exp Res 31, 759–764 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40520-019-01192-9

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Keywords

  • Cow’s milk
  • Fracture
  • Bone mineral density
  • Bone turnover markers