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Calcium from dairy important for strong bones

Eating foods fortified with calcium, or taking calcium supplements may not be as good as dairy intake say Purdue researchers. The team of scientists studied differences in bone health, comparing those rats a nutritious diet supplemented with calcium carbonate with rats given dairy products that contain calcium.

The results showed that dairy intake is best for maintaining bone health. Longer, stronger bones were found among the rats given dairy.

The research concluded that consuming dairy products early in life and continuing throughout life is the best way to keep bones strong and reduce risk of osteoporosis, fracture and disability associated with aging.

Professor Connie Weaver, head of the food and nutrition department at Purdue University says, "A lot of companies say, if you don't drink milk, then take your calcium pills or calcium-fortified food. There has been no study designed properly to compare bone growth from supplements and milk or dairy to see if it has the same effect. We found it was an advantage having milk or dairy while bones were growing over calcium carbonate, and it protects you later in life."

Rats that were fed half as much calcium in adulthood maintained better bone health, compared to rats who did not receive dairy products when they were younger.

"It's not due to increased calcium absorption. It's more about protecting against bones losing calcium, according to our results of calcium metabolism. Bones are in constant turnover, especially when they are growing. Youth need to have bone formation to outweigh bone loss."

Calcium, consumed daily from food sources such as milk, yogurt and cheeses leads to better bone health, compared to food fortified foods and calcium carbonate supplements. Natural whole food sources of nutrition seem to offer optimal health. The Perdue study shows that consuming dairy products containing 1300 mg. of calcium daily could one of the best ways to keep bones healthy and strong throughout life, helping to prevent osteoporosis with aging. Focus on organic dairy products that are additive free for strong bones and better health throughout life.

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Please note that this is the opinion of the author and is Not Certified by ICAR or any of its authorised agents.