How does yoghurt affect your bone heath?
Yoghurt is full of calcium, protein and probiotics – definitely beneficial for our gut, heart health and helps conditions like diabetes.
Yoghurt is also a rich source of bone promoting nutrients which might be good for older adults who are at the risk of lower bone density and higher risk of osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a chronic condition associated with a reduction in bone strength and an increased risk of bone fracture.
The results showed that each unit increase in yoghurt intake in women was associated with 31 percent lower risk osteopenia and a 39 per cent lower risk of osteoporosis. In men, a 52 per cent lower risk of osteoporosis was found.
Scientists from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland investigated the association between yoghurt intake and bone health and frailty in older adults in the largest observational study to date as so far this association has not been well documented.
The study involved 1057 women and 763 men who underwent bone-mineral-density (BMD) assessment. It also included 2624 women and 1290 men who had their physical function measured.
Yoghurt consumption was ascertained from a questionnaire which categorised their intake as never taken, 2-3 times a week and more than one serving per day.
Other factors examined were intake of other dairy products, milk, fish, smoking and alcohol as well as other traditional risk factors that affect bone health.
The findings of the study were promising showing that an increased yoghurt consumption is associated with 3.1 – 3.9 per cent higher hip and femoral neck bone density in females compared to those with the lowest yoghurt consumption. There was also an improvement in some of the physical function measure by 6.7 per cent.
In men, the biomarkers of bone breakdown were 9.5 per cent lower in those with the highest yoghurt intake compared to the lowest intake.
To examine the risk of osteoporosis, other risk factors were analysed such as BMI, kidney function, physical activity, servings of other dairy products, and calcium and Vitamin D supplements. Other traditional factors were also examined such as smoking, alcohol intake and inactivity.
After analysing all these factors, the results showed that each unit increase in yoghurt intake in women was associated with 31 percent lower risk osteopenia and a 39 per cent lower risk of osteoporosis. In men, a 52 per cent lower risk of osteoporosis was found.
The study found that Vitamin D supplements were also associated with considerably reduced risks in both men and women.
While further investigation is necessary in the form of controlled trials to examine the exact mechanisms which cause these benefits, it’s safe to say that yoghurt intake is highly recommended for bone heath especially for older adults.
Source: Osteoporosis International
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