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Drinking milk may make us taller but may not stop hip fractures

By Lesley Lanir     Nov 19, 2013 in Health
New research findings show that drinking milk during teenage years does not necessarily lower the risk of hip fractures in older adults possibly because milk also helps make us grow taller.
Milk consumption is usually encouraged during puberty in order to promote bone mass development as a preventative measure against fractures later in life.
Research funded by the U.S. National Institute on Aging and the U.S. National Cancer Institute was conducted by Diane Feskanich, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School in Boston, and her team. They tested the assumption that drinking milk may not be as beneficial in preventing hip fractures later in life as we think it is.
The researchers looked at the frequency of hip fractures among more than 61,000 women and 35,000 men over a period of 22 years to find out if milk consumption during teenage years influences the risk of such injuries in older adults and they also looked at height in association with milk consumption and fractures.
Their findings show that drinking milk during teenage years is not associated with a lower risk of hip fracture in the older adults that had taken part in their studies.
The article concludes:
"Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 recommends the consumption of 3 cups of milk or equivalent dairy foods per day to promote maximal bone mass in adolescents. In this investigation, higher milk consumption at this age did not translate into a lower risk of hip fracture for older adults, and a positive association was observed among men. Further research is needed to clarify the roles of early milk consumption and height in prevention of hip fractures in older adults."
In an interview, Feskanich is quoted as saying that the result:
"... does make you stop and ponder and want to see better evidence for our dietary recommendations."
Feskanich also said that "taller people are more likely to experience a hip fracture, but whether it is because taller people are more likely to fall, or whether once they fall they are more likely to fracture, is unclear. "
The full article and results can be found in Jama Pediatrics Milk Consumption During Teenage Years and Risk of Hip Fractures in Older Adults.
More about drinking milk, Puberty, Fractures, bone density, Diane Feskanich
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