snopes.com Post new topic  Post a reply
search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hello snopes.com » Archived Forums » Medical Archive » Does milk build stronger bones?

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Does milk build stronger bones?
snopes
Return! Return! Return!


Icon 221 posted      Profile for snopes   Author's Homepage   E-mail snopes       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Conventional wisdom holds that dairy foods are the best source of calcium, and that American adults need to pump up their dairy intake to get the large amount of calcium their bodies need every day. Not everyone, however, believes the conventional wisdom.

http://www.latimes.com/features/health/medicine/la-he-calcium7mar07,1,6533215.story

Posts: 36029 | From: Admin | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Crono
Deck the Malls


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Crono   Author's Homepage   E-mail Crono   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I asked a similar question with this thread on the food forum. There were quite a few good responses, but the jury still seems to be out on this one. Many of the explanations I've heard against milk make sense, but they have come almost exclusively from vegans, animal rights activists, and others who would have an obvious bias in the issue.

I did receive an e-mail from someone who read the thread and gave a detailed criticism against dairy products. I'll post that e-mail if he gives me permission.

--------------------
Disclaimer: I might know something about everything, but I don't know much about anything.

Posts: 293 | From: Nashville, TN | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Joseph Z
Xboxing Day


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Joseph Z   E-mail Joseph Z   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
From what I understood from CNN one time is that drinking milk does not generally help. It's more of an encourager.

Exercising regularly to strengthen muscles and bones is what does the job. As well as burning off our fat pounds.

--------------------
Joseph Z

Posts: 1356 | From: Woodbridge, VA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
BlankStare
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


Icon 1 posted      Profile for BlankStare   E-mail BlankStare   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I fell out of a tree when I was a young girl. I don't know how many feet up it was or whatever but one young boy fell out of it from the same height I was and the back of his head split open and he was rushed to the hospital. I have always drank milk my whole life and when I fell out of the tree I didn't even break a bone. It was pretty high up from the ground. I looked at it recently when I went back home and was afraid. I must have been crazy to climb the tree but I did. I have fallen, bumped into things, had things fall on me, people fall on me and never had a broken bone. I contribute that to milk.

--------------------
That was Merle Haggard with I Kissed My Sweetie With My Fist.

Posts: 27 | From: Florida | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
rotten little boys
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I fell out of and off of more things than I care to admit too. One being a jungle gym ten feet up. Another being a neighboors tree seven feet up. Neither resulted in broken bones but did push my teeth in to where I no longer needed braces. Yeah, I'm cheap.

I hate milk and stay away from it at all costs. The only bones I have managed to break are the last two digits in my left hand when I shut my hand in a car door.

My mom drank milk like a starving calf as a child but managed to break both legs and an arm all at once. The kicker was that she broke the second leg while showing off on her crutches. Seesh, what a rotten break.

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Horse Chestnut
Happy Holly Days


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Horse Chestnut     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
You do have to wonder how every other vertebrate in the animal kingdom manages to build strong bones once they are off the teat, and that includes our fellow primates, who put their bones through a work-out we could only dream of. Yet it has been drummed into us that we need our daily doses of milk in order to grow straight and strong.

Could this belief have been started when they started fortifying milk in the 1920s? The addition of Vitamin D to bottled milk certainly helped to eliminate the instances of rickets in young children. Maybe that's why people still encourage kids to drink their milk.

Posts: 1651 | From: Columbus, Ohio | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
rotten little boys
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
A thought often found inside my mind Spredain Horse Chestnut! [lol]
IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
24K_ Kate
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


Icon 1 posted      Profile for 24K_ Kate   Author's Homepage   E-mail 24K_ Kate   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Got Milk? [Big Grin]

--------------------
<---Callisto

I have a 60 second snack idea for Rachel (Ray): Xanax, vodka, fall asleep.--Adrianne Frost, Best Week Ever.

Posts: 2374 | From: Naw-fik, VA y'all | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Joe Bentley
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Joe Bentley   Author's Homepage   E-mail Joe Bentley   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
You know I've never understood why it seems that milk has gotten this reputation as some sort of miracle food. It only has three nutrients in any real amount (Calcium, Vitamin A, Vitamin D), and hell the Vitamin D was even artificially added, and its not like any of those nutrients are hard to find in other foods.

And as Chestnut pointed out not one single animal other then man drinks milk past infancy and we all know how widespread ostiopirosis is amongst the pygmy marmoset population.

And for that matter we're the only species that drinks the milk of entirely different species! Cow milk evolved to feed calfs, a ungulate four stomached herbivore! Calling it a miracle food for human children is just silly, and applying that label to human adults is bordering on insane.

--------------------
"Existence has no pattern save what we imagine after staring at it for too long." - Rorschach, The Watchmen

Posts: 8929 | From: Norfolk, Virginia | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Cobra4J
Jingle Bell Hock


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Cobra4J   E-mail Cobra4J   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
A friend of mine had a very bad fall a few years ago and had some breaks in some vertabra and her pelvis. She drank lots of mik and took calcium pills. It still took her forever to heal up (in fact she is not 100% yet). Her doctor was perplexed because usually people heal much faster.

Other people I know have healed up from broken bones and broken vertabra rather quickly. Obviously calcium is important for good health and repairing broken bones, but I imagine just how your body acts and deals with injury probably has a lot to do with it.

I drink lots of milk- only 1 small break in my life, and that was after a fall from a considerable height. It was a small bone and I healed up in less than a month. Other people I know have broken bones from far less of a hit. I imagine genes, body structure, and overall health have a lot to do with it.

Milk itself- well, it does have protein, as well as other health benefits, so don't just toss it out, but don't hold onto it as a "cure all". If it was I would never be sick.

Posts: 479 | From: Owosso, MI | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Buzzkiller
Deck the Malls


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Buzzkiller   E-mail Buzzkiller       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I'm not sure that anecdotes about people falling from great heights and not getting hurt have much bearing. We've all heard stories about sleeping auto passengers who were thrown through the windshield in a crash, yet broke no bones because their bodies were relaxed. On the other hand, my strong, healthy, milk-loving teenage son fell "the wrong way" on a small skateboard ramp and broke his tibia in four places.

What's the secret to strong bones? Don't fall the wrong way!

Posts: 207 | From: Alabama | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Just Me
Deck the Malls


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Just Me     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
When I was pregnant with my daughter, I craved milk to the point of drinking 4 - 5 glasses of it a day. I thought it might have been a reason to why my daughter was so strong when she was born. She wasn't like a 'normal' newborn, as said by nurses and doctors, but more like a 3 month old in a newborn's body. She could hold her head up for long periods of time and came || this close to rolling over (like 95%) at her 1 week checkup - that's normally something done at severals months old. Her pediatrician was shocked, to say the least.

--------------------
"Invention, my dear friends, is 93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4% evaporation, and 2% butterscotch ripple." - Willy Wonka

Posts: 388 | From: Michigan | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Joseph Z
Xboxing Day


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Joseph Z   E-mail Joseph Z   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I try to plan my day out before drinking milk. On a diet, milk costs more calories than affordable sometimes. I help myself to Dannon light n fit smoothies which are less calories than your average skim milk. (80 cals compared to skim milk of 100 average)

--------------------
Joseph Z

Posts: 1356 | From: Woodbridge, VA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
resident deity
Deck the Malls


Icon 1 posted      Profile for resident deity   E-mail resident deity   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
As an intolerant of the Lactose variety, my milk consumption is miniscule (bits in food that I can't avoid). But I have a strong and robust immune system. I know people who drink milk by the carton who seem to be permanently ill.

Translation: milk makes no real difference to your immune system/healing rate - it all depends upon genetics and general diet. Oh and eating meat [Smile]

Posts: 289 | From: Leicester, UK | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
strange_little_girl
The First USA Noel


Icon 1 posted      Profile for strange_little_girl   E-mail strange_little_girl   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Annette:
When I was pregnant with my daughter, I craved milk to the point of drinking 4 - 5 glasses of it a day. I thought it might have been a reason to why my daughter was so strong when she was born. She wasn't like a 'normal' newborn, as said by nurses and doctors, but more like a 3 month old in a newborn's body. She could hold her head up for long periods of time and came || this close to rolling over (like 95%) at her 1 week checkup - that's normally something done at severals months old. Her pediatrician was shocked, to say the least.

It is also entirely possible that milk had nothing to do with your daughters early muscle development. I drank vast quantities of Irn Bru (a fizzy drink with vast quantities of orange food colouring, caffeine and sugar in it) when pregnant and the doctors commented that my kid was "as bright as a button" and alert when she was born. However I would never think for a moment that Irn Bru boosts fetal brain development.

--------------------
I tried to get in touch with my inner child, but she isn't allowed to talk
to strangers.

Posts: 674 | From: Scotland | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
InfraPurple
The First USA Noel


Icon 1 posted      Profile for InfraPurple     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Annette:
When I was pregnant with my daughter, I craved milk to the point of drinking 4 - 5 glasses of it a day. I thought it might have been a reason to why my daughter was so strong when she was born. She wasn't like a 'normal' newborn, as said by nurses and doctors, but more like a 3 month old in a newborn's body. She could hold her head up for long periods of time and came || this close to rolling over (like 95%) at her 1 week checkup - that's normally something done at severals months old. Her pediatrician was shocked, to say the least.

We just had a simular situation. My daughter was born in November, and shortly (like, maybe, five minutes) after being born she was pushing her head up by a fair amount and holding it while on her belly. She has continuously done this, to the point where I was pretty confident leaving her on her belly to sleep at a young age, circa one month old. She also has been turning over belly to back since she was three weeks old.

We just started letting her sleep overnight on her belly, as she's gotten much stronger here in the last month or so. After having another daughter with a rare genetic condition (she didn't roll over for several months. Was almost two before she walked), it's a plesant surprise. I have high hopes for her that she'll be crawling and walking early. But if she doesn't, that's fine too. All boys were late walkers/crawlers, so I'm kinda expecting it.

And my wife didn't have much in the way of milk during the pregnancy, unless you count Ranch Dressing.

--------------------
While I wasn't falling down or anything, gravity and I did have an interesting relationship for a short time. - Purple Iguana

Posts: 715 | From: Kansas | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Just Me
Deck the Malls


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Just Me     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Must be those November girls - my daughter was born 11-27-2002. [Wink]

--------------------
"Invention, my dear friends, is 93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4% evaporation, and 2% butterscotch ripple." - Willy Wonka

Posts: 388 | From: Michigan | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Crono
Deck the Malls


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Crono   Author's Homepage   E-mail Crono   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Here is an e-mail I received from someone who saw my post on the other thread. He or she gave me permission to post it but asked to remain anonymous. It is quoted exactly as it was in the e-mail, typos and all, except I wasn't able to reproduce all of the html formatting. All of the bolding and italics is from the author, not me.

quote:
Hi, I saw your notes posted on Snoopes.com. I read two dozen of scientific articles about the relationship between calcium and osteoporosis. I compiled the information below hopfully it helps you. By the way I am a research Biochemist by training I hope that helps.

*******************************************************

Excessive Calcium Causes Osteoporosis

1. The number of times a cell can be replaced is fixed. Accelerated aging of cells is about a higher turnover of cells; new cells replacing old cells more frequently. the replacement capacity will be exhausted eventually.

2. Ridiculously changing the definition of osteoporosis from “porous bones” into “low bone mass”. Osteoporosis is not about the inability to build strong bones, but about premature degeneration of the bones. High BMD (Bone Mineral Density) means (temporarily) stronger bones, but not healthier bones. BMD by itself does not predict osteoporosis risk. A natural low BMD due to a low calcium intake is protective against osteoporosis, for calcium turnover has been structurally low. A low BMD caused by excessive calcium turnover is dangerous and accelerates osteoporosis.

3. Chinese consume very little milk (8 kg / year), and hip-fracture incidence, therefore, is among the lowest in the world; hip- fracture incidence in Chinese women is 6 fold lower than in the US (The average American consumes 254 kg milk / year). If less calcium is consumed, the bone-cells age slower, and a low calcium intake throughout adolescence has been shown to both retard and prolong longitudinal bone growth in rats.

4. Estrogen inhibits both the uptake of calcium into the bones and deportation of calcium from the bones. Estrogen prevents the death of osteoblasts

5. The absorption of calcium requires the activity of specialized cells: osteoblasts. Only osteoblasts can compose pre-calcified bone-matrix, upon which the calcium can precipitate without the matrix, the calcium cannot precipitate, and new bone cannot be composed while old bone is constantly being decomposed. When replacement cannot occur, porous holes will begin to appear. 50 to 70% of the composing osteoblasts die in the composition of new matrix. There is only abou t 200 mg of calcium is absorbed into the blood daily. In order to absorb the right amount of calcium, absorption rate decreases when we consume more calcium. If we consume too much calcium, the absorption rate cannot be sufficiently decreased. . Why is extra calcium absorbed in the bones. it is to prevent blood-calcium level from rising too much. Muscles can only function if calcium from inside the muscle cells can be deported outside the cells. If blood-calcium level were too high, this wouldn't be possible; it would be lethal since breathing requires muscle-action. To save your life exce ssive dietary calcium is temporarily stored in the bones, prior to excretion.

6. Deportation of calcium from the bones requires the activity of osteoclasts. Normally the blood contains a total of 500 mg calcium. The difference between highest and lowest blood-calcium level is only 26%, thanks to the three different hormones that prevent our blood from containing too much (or too little) calcium. When too much calcium is consumed, the calcium-hormones are very active, stimula ting absorption of calcium into the bones, and subsequently deportation and excretion. The more this processed is accelerated, the more the bone erode.

7. Three Hormones that regulate calcium : Calcitonine , PTH (Parathyroid hormone), Calcitriol (Vitamine D).

8. Calcitonine inhibits deportation of calcium from the bones. Calcitonine stimulates excretion of calcium through the urine.

9. Calcitriol increasing the uptake of dietary calcium into the blood, also the uptake of calcium into the bones. Calcitriol also inhibits secretion of PTH. And because PTH is much stronger than calcitriol in stimulating the uptake of calcium into the bones and the subsequent deportation. Supplementary calcitriol can in fact strongly decrease uptake of calcium into the bones and subsequent deportation. Since calcitriol also increases intestinal calcium absorption, therefore increases blood-calcium level. Too much calcium in the blood can precipitate in the arteries, joints and ligaments and kills muscle cells (since muscle cells can only contract by deporting calcium outside the muscle-cells, which is harder if the blood contains more calcium). Too much calcitriol / vitamin D can cause arterioscler osis, bone-deformation , muscle cramps and fibromyalgia.

10. Parathyro id hormone (PTH) stimulates uptake of calcium into the bones and deportation of calcium from the bones , and inhibits excretion of calcium, generally increasing a low blood-calcium level and inhibits excretion of calcium. Logically elevated RTH level accelerate aging of the bones. Low level of PTH prevent bone loss. PTH also stimulates secretion of calcitriol



--------------------
Disclaimer: I might know something about everything, but I don't know much about anything.

Posts: 293 | From: Nashville, TN | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
ranran yousei
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Crono:
Here is an e-mail I received from someone who saw my post on the other thread. He or she gave me permission to post it but asked to remain anonymous. It is quoted exactly as it was in the e-mail, typos and all, except I wasn't able to reproduce all of the html formatting. All of the bolding and italics is from the author, not me.

To save space and readers alike, I'll just link to my response in the other thread.

That link comes with a warning that it's a long and boring response.

Basically, whereas too much calcium can cause problems, and researches still debate what's too much (some do say 500mg maximum, others like the 1500-2000 mg recommendations). My post was more about Vitamin D. So misunderstood, yet so important.

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.

Instant Graemlins
   


Post new topic  Post a reply Close topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Urban Legends Reference Pages

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2