The release of an observational research study conducted by the Department of Surgical Sciences at Uppsala University in Sweden, and published recently in The BMJ, has raised fears that drinking three glasses of milk a day doesn’t lower your chances of suffering a broken bone and may even increase risk of an early death.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) cautions that the study has a number of severe limitations, as the study authors admit in the abstract.
“The study is only observational and the method used to assess diet is weak, particularly because the effects of total energy intake, BMI, physical activity and other lifestyle habits are not taken into account when assessing effect on fracture risk and overall mortality,” said Connie Weaver, PhD, Distinguished Professor and Head, Department of Nutrition Sciences, Purdue University and NOF Trustee. “Milk is an excellent source of calcium as part of a well-balanced diet. The US Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend consuming three cups of low or nonfat milk to ensure intake of several essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.”
NOF encourages people of all ages to ensure their calcium intake reaches recommended levels. Getting enough calcium and vitamin D is essential to building strong, dense bones when you’re young and to keeping them strong and healthy as you age.
NOF recommends a total of 1,000 mg of calcium from all sources every day for women under age 50, while women 50 and older need a total of 1,200 mg of calcium. Men 70 and younger need a total of 1,000 mg of calcium from all sources every day, while men older than 70 need a total of 1,200 mg of calcium.