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Bone Health and Osteoporosis

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Bone Health and Osteoporosis

Essential for healthy bones, calcium also contributes to the prevention of osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue. This leads to increased bone fragility and risk of fracture, particularly of the hip, spine and wrist.1 People with osteoporosis therefore have a quality of life that is considerably reduced and can end up losing functional independence. According to Osteoporosis Canada, at least 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men will suffer from osteoporotic fracture during their lifetime1.

Early prevention is key!

The best strategy for fighting osteoporosis consists in building and maintaining good bone stores from childhood. In fact, there is a lot of evidence demonstrating that higher calcium intakes increase bone gain during growth, postpone age-related bone loss, and reduce the risk of osteoporotic fractures.2 It is well known that milk and milk products represent one of the most reliable sources of calcium, not to mention other nutrients that contribute to bone health. It should be noted that the calcium and vitamin D found together in milk is thought to be particularly important for bone health, since vitamin D improves the absorption of calcium, which is the building blocks of solid bones. Moreover, certain studies show that the calcium in milk products could be better for bone health, and possibly the prevention of osteoporosis, than calcium supplements.3

Sources

1. Osteoporosis Canada. 2016. Osteoporosis facts & statistics. www.osteoporosis.ca. Accessed October 25, 2016.

2. Heaney RP. Calcium, dairy products and osteoporosis. J Am Coll Nutr 2000;19(2 Suppl):83S-99S.

3. Heaney RP. Dairy and bone health. J Am Coll Nutr 2009;28 Suppl 1:82S–90S.

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