Milk and other dairy products have high concentrations of calcium, which the body need for a variety of purposes, one of which is building bone. However, the body needs calcium for other functions, as well, such as for blood clotting and sending nerve impulses, and if a person does not take in enough calcium, the body will take it from the bones, which can cause a weakening of the bones. So yes, in theory drinking milk is one way to help prevent a weakening of the bones. However, there are studies that have found that the human body only absorbs a little bit of the calcium from cow’s milk, and in some cases can contribute to the weakening of the bones. All in all, it seems to be up in the air at this point – many people still believe milk strengthens bones, while others are convinced it doesn’t. If you are really concerned, I’d talk to a doctor about it.
It sure does – since milk contains a lot of calcium, and our bones are made of calcium (among other things), milk helps supplement and strengthen the calcium content of our bones, keeping them strong and healthy. If your bones don’t get enough calcium, they are more likely to fracture and break.
On that note, it’s possible that calcium isn’t as beneficial to growing strong bones as exercise in children and young adults. So in that sense, milk would be more beneficial in strengthening a middle-aged person’s bones than it would a child’s, according to some recent studies, but there seems to be some disagreement among scientist, doctors, and nutritionists on the matter – some think exercise does more for bones, others think calcium does.
If you don’t like milk, calcium can come from other sources, like collard greens and broccoli.
Although the idea that milk builds strong bones is very popular in American culture, studies have indicated that there is no connection between milk consumption and strong bones. For instance, Harvard conducted a 12 year study of 78,000 women who got their calcium intake from primary dairy products, and found that these women broke more bones than women who got their calcium from other sources.
I have attached a pro-con discussion about consuming dairy for calcium and its benefits or side-effects.
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