Dairy: How Good Is It For Your Bones?

Taking miscellaneous sources of dairy foods may have different effects on a person’s bone health, medical experts assert based on new research results from the Institute for Aging Research. (IFAR) Milk and yogurt were identified by researchers studying dairy sources as being helpful in improving bone mineral density in hip bones but the spine’s vertebral bones were not affected. All kinds of cream are judged by the researchers to supplement to lower bone mineral density. Findings from the research study suggest that not all dairy sources are similarly beneficial in bolstering bone health.

Hebrew Seniorlife is an affiliate of Harvard Medical School which is where IFAR is located and where this study was published in the journal Archives of Osteoporosis.

Dairy products have been known to provide several essential nutrients that are beneficial to bone health; such is the case with milk and yogurt which has been found to be associated with improving bone density with only two and one-half to three servings a day for an extended period of time. It was also found by researchers that cream and other dairy foods similar to it, such as ice cream, provided minimal amounts of the nutrients because they were composed more of fat and sugar.

The researchers also agree that further study is needed with cheese products especially with regards to how bone health is affected by the high concentrations of fat and salt in its contents. In addition, the study did not account for differences in the influence of individual dairy products in fracture risk and prevention which also needs further study.

The IFAR researchers determined that nutritional composition varied among dairy foods and even differed significantly from one another in terms of content as well as benefits provided after being compared to health values such as bone mineral density. Middle-aged men and women may benefit from nutrients taken from dairy food sources such as low-fat milk and yogurt, Compared to cream products, milk and yogurt has been shown to increase protein, calcium, and vitamin D intake while at the same time reducing saturated fats intake in the test subjects.


This new field of research study seeks to establish new ground with how health is affected by nutrition. Past studies have suggested that dairy products contained various beneficial nutrients which has been suspected may contribute to improving bone health. This research field also supports current theories that nutrition may be used to counter the effects of osteoporosis and prevent fractures which are considered to be a major public health threat.

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