Doesn’t cow’s milk protect against osteoporosis?
No, osteoporosis occurs most commonly in countries where they drink the most milk! American women are among the biggest consumers of calcium in the world yet they suffer one of the highest levels of osteoporosis, while African Bantu women eat almost no dairy products at all and have a relatively low calcium intake from vegetable sources yet osteoporosis is virtually unknown among Bantu women. Increasing milk consumption does not protect against bone fracture, in it may be that an increased calcium intake from dairy foods increases the risk of fracture.
What increases our risk of osteoporosis?
Calcium loss from the bones has been linked to high intakes of animal protein. By the age of 80, vegetarians tend to have lost less bone mineral compared to omnivores. Research suggests that the more animal protein you eat, the higher your risk of hip fracture becomes. Cross-cultural studies show strong links between a high animal protein diet, bone degeneration and the occurrence of hip fractures. In a rural community in China where most of the protein in the diet came from plant foods rather than animal foods, the fracture rate was one-fifth of that in the US.
For more information on the topic see our Healthy bones section.
Find out more:
See our calcium fact sheet.
See our new poster illustrating good plant sources of calcium.
Building Bones for Life - This guide will provide you with all the theoretical and practical information on healthy bones you need. Written in a very easy to read way it explains what the key players in bone health are and how you can achieve healthy bones at any age, even if your bone health is already compromised.