Milk, yogurt best for bone health: study

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Cream is not as effective as milk or yogurt in promoting bone health and combating osteoporosis, according to researchers.

Low bone-density puts the elderly at an increased risk for osteoporosis and fractures of the hip, spine and waist. Around one-fourth of those who have a broken hip die within the following year.

While all dairy products have nutrients important for bone health, cream and its cousins such as ice cream are not as effective, said Shivani Sahni, Ph.D., of the Musculoskeletal Research Team at the Institute for Aging Research at Hebrew SeniorLife.

Researchers looked at more than 3,000 participants who filled out a food frequency questionnaire in the 1990s and were followed for hip fracture until 2005. The age range was from 26 to 85, with the mean age of 55 years.

Those who had 2½ to 3 servings a day of milk and yogurt had higher bone mineral density in their hips, although not in the spine.

The authors suggest choosing low-fat milk or yogurt in order to boost levels of protein, calcium and vitamin D.

Findings appeared in the Archives of Osteoporosis on Feb. 1.