Drinking too much milk bad for bones?

Bones constantly take up and release calcium throughout life – in both, men and women. However, post-menopausal women are more susceptible to osteoporosis or brittle-bone disease because declining estrogen levels impair the skeleton’s calcium retaining ability. So the most common advice offered to women is to eat plenty of calcium-rich food, particularly, milk and milk-products.

Drinking too much milk may be bad for your bones

But, before gulping down glasses of milk in your eagerness to replenish your depleting calcium levels, have a look at these articles from  Cleveland Clinic and WebMD

A recent study suggests that while some milk may be good, more is not better. In fact, too much milk may be bad for your health.

The study, conducted with over 60,000 women (age 39-74) and 45,000 men (age 45-79) found that too much milk – three or more glasses a day – was not only associated with mortality but also an increased risk of fracture and hip fracture.

Researchers found this surprising association after following the men and women in this study for 22 and 13 years respectively. Over this time, study participants completed questionnaires about their milk-drinking habits.

After adjusting for other variables, they found that women who reported drinking three or more glasses of milk each day nearly doubled their risk of death in relation to women who drank less than one glass each day.

Men were not as affected as women, but those who drank three or more glasses of milk each day still showed a significant increase in mortality.

Researchers said the increased risk of death they observed could be explained by the high levels of sugars contained in milk, specifically lactose and galactose.

Galactose has been shown to prematurely age mice in the laboratory, Michaelsson said, noting that the milk sugar promotes inflammation.

By contrast, a high intake of fermented milk products with low lactose content -- such as yogurt and cheese -- was associated with reduced rates of death and fracture, particularly in women, the researchers reported.

While interesting, these findings are too preliminary to warrant a change in nutritional guidelines, add the researchers.

In conclusion, drinking milk isn't as bad as  touted in some alternative medicine forums; but drinking too much milk may be bad for you. (Do read Milk for health and beauty)There are a lot of other nutrients and lifestyle factors involved in building healthy bones.

For instance, regular gardening can give you strong bones. Remember that it's not that milk/ dairy weakens your bones; it's just that dairy alone cannot guarantee you strong bones and consuming any type of food in excess is always bad.

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  1. Anonymous3:29 PM

    “Three delicious glasses of nonfat or low-fat milk a day is all it takes to get 100 percent of your calcium needs met and 75 percent of your vitamin D and a host of other essential nutrients from high quality protein to potassium, phosphorus, vitamin A and vitamin B12.” In addition, milk is low in sodium and provides a lot of nutrition for its 80 to 120 calories per cup. Milk can also contribute to daily hydration needs – it is made up of about 90 percent water, which is essential to virtually every bodily function. As a bonus, milk is economical. “It’s about 25 cents per cup, which is far less than the majority of new-agey ‘fortified sugar waters’ on the market today.”

  2. Navya3:05 PM

    excessive milk drinking appeared to actually increase a woman's risk of broken bones, compared with women who drank little milk

  3. Krupa3:44 PM

    Too much of ANYTHING is bad for you. protein is need in the body to build muscles and for other uses - but when you eat more than you need, it is burned as a fuel, which is inneficient and produces harmful chemicals. Also, a well balanced diet should contain a good variety of foods, so that you get all the nutrients you need - they are found in different kinds of food. So, if you eat a lot of just one kind of food, you are not getting some of the nutrients you would get if you spread out your calories over a wider variety (more different kinds) of foods.

  4. Sloka3:51 PM

    humans are not meant to drink milk. We can until age two or three (our mother's milk) and then we stop producing the enzyme which breaks down the lactose

  5. Nisha3:53 PM

    It's not a great idea to have tons of it.

    I am a vegetarian/ part vegan. I stopped drinking milk completely a couple months ago, and my acne, and any or all zits totally went away. So that tells you that it affects your body in its negative ways.

  6. Drinking an excess of milk will make you gain weight. Milk has calories too, and it also has protein. You don't need a gallon of milk everyday, I would suggest maybe two or three glasses, one for every meal.

    Skim milk is also a good alternative, but like I said, you don't need a gallon of milk everyday.


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