Prevent A Bone Break
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Prevent A Bone Break
Prevent a Bone Break, Drink Milk to Boost Calcium
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Boosting calcium intake by drinking milk could reduce healthy adults' chances of a debilitating
bone break. In a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, healthy
men and women supplemented with 1,200 mg of calcium per day - the amount in four glasses
of milk - reduced their risk of bone fractures by 72 percent.
An international team of researchers from University Hospital Zurich and Dartmouth Medical
School divided 930 healthy men and women ages 27 to 80 into two groups for a four-year
intervention study. One group was given a placebo, while the other took a daily calcium
supplement containing 1,200 mg of calcium daily - the calcium recommendation for adults
over the age of 51.
The researchers found that those receiving an additional 1,200 mg of calcium were
significantly less likely to have a bone fracture of any sort during the four-year period,
including everyday activity fractures (bone breaks that occurred while walking or standing) and
seemingly unavoidable accident-related fractures (bone breaks sustained during falls, running,
sports injuries or car accidents). In fact, during the four-year intervention, not a single adult
receiving calcium experienced a fracture tied to everyday activities - fractures that researchers
call "potentially preventable" and more likely linked to bone health.
To sustain the benefits, researchers found that the adults needed to maintain their calcium
intakes. After the four-year supplementation period ended, the bone benefits dissipated,
underscoring the need to adopt lifelong habits, like drinking milk, to prevent bone loss.
Adult bones continue to grow in density and strength until about age 35. After that,
preventing further bone loss is essential. Poor bone health and bone fractures can have
negative consequences for adults of all ages, interfering with recreational activities, ability to
work or physical capacity to exercise and stay healthy. These adult bone fractures may also be
an early sign of risk for osteoporosis - a serious condition of brittle bones afflicting more than
10 million Americans.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend three servings of fat free or lowfat milk each
day, providing 90 percent of the recommended daily value of calcium for most adults. Milk is
also an excellent source of vitamin D, helping the body absorb this much-needed calcium to
help maintain strong bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Rees JR, Grau MV, Barry E, Gui J, Baron JA. Effect of calcium supplementation on fracture risk: a double-blind randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Clinical