Many people do not realize that bone is living tissue. Over a lifetime, the body removes old bone tissue to make way for new bone tissue. When the creation of new bone slows and can’t keep up with the removal of the old bone, bones become weak and brittle, causing them to break more easily. About 54 million Americans deal with this condition, osteoporosis, and studies suggest that 50% of women and 25% of men age 50 and up will break a bone due to osteoporosis. This condition can cause significant physical and emotional troubles for those who suffer from it. Luckily, by making one addition to your daily meals, you may be able to considerably improve your bone health and reduce your risk for osteoporosis.
- Researchers at Trinity College, Dublin conducted a study of over 4,000 Irish adults, age 60 and up, which determined a positive association between daily yogurt consumption and increased bone health.
- Researchers measured the bone mineral density (BMD) as well as the physical function of the participants in order to determine their results. Traditional risk factors of osteoporosis including age, physical activity, smoking and alcohol consumption were taken into account when finalizing their conclusions.
- Women who ate yogurt every day had a 39% lower risk of developing osteoporosis when compared with those who did not eat yogurt. The study authors observed a 52% lower risk in men.
- Researchers also noted a 31% lower risk in women of osteopenia, a condition which is often a precursor to osteoporosis and involves the old bone being reabsorbed into the body faster than new bone can be created.
- Vitamin D supplements were also associated with markedly reduced risks in the participants, though other dairy products did not seem to produce similar effects.
Eamon J. Laird, the lead author and a research fellow at the Centre for Medical Gerontology, Trinity, said, “Yogurt is a rich source of different bone promoting nutrients and thus our findings in some ways are not surprising. The suggest that improving yogurt intakes could be a strategy for maintaining bone health, but it needs verification through future research as it is observational.”
Besides promoting bone health, yogurt has numerous other health benefits. A 2016 UCLA study found that a Lactobacillus strain of bacteria, which you can find in yogurt, kombucha, and sauerkraut, can help reduce the risk of some types of cancer. Some yogurts can contain a lot of sugar, however, so it’s important to look for servings that contain 20 grams or fewer, according to Fitness Magazine.
Read more about the study in Osteoporosis International.