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Got Milk? I don't think so!

Got Milk? I don't think so (not the pasteurized, homogenized milk from cows raised in CAFOs - Confined Animal Feeding Operations)!

One of the biggest myths of the food industry is that milk is required for good bone health. Well, sorry to rain on the parade! A recent study in the prestigious British Journal of Medicine questions “the validity of recommendations to consume high amounts of milk to prevent fragility fractures” and even worse “ … observed a positive association only between milk intake and markers of oxidative stress (urine 8-iso-PGF2α) and inflammation (serum interleukin 6).

The study goes on to say, "A higher consumption of milk in women and men is not accompanied by a lower risk of fracture and instead may be associated with a higher rate of death."... "and with higher levels of oxidative stress and inflammatory biomarkers."

So, what is necessary for optimal bone health. Not just calcium! The proper balance of calcium and other nutrients is what is required.

1. Vitamin C is required for proper calcium absorption

2. Vitamin D is required for bone production and reduction of inflammation. There are vitamin D receptors in every cell in the body, so vitamin D is a critical nutrient. Getting a blood test can tell you if you have sufficient levels. Read more about vitamin D here.

3. Magesium is part of over 300 chemical reactions in the human body and stimulates the hormone calcitonin, which helps to preserve bone structure by drawing calcium out of the blood and soft tissues back into the bones. Read more about magnesium here.

4. Recent research has revealed that, without vitamin K2, calcium regulation is disrupted. There are two forms of vitamin K: K1 found in leafy green veggies and K2 found in organ meats, egg yolks and other forms of dairy. Vitamin D is necessary to maintain a normal balance between blood clotting and thinning. Read more about vitamin K here.

5. Phosphorus makes up about 50% of our bone mass. However, increased amounts of phosphorus in the diet can impair bone health. That means no diet soda!

6. Other nutrients like boron, silica, copper, manganese, and zinc are part of a good bone health.

7. Chronically high levels of blood sugar (diabetes) causes bone loss as does chronically high levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

8. Systemic inflammation is a problem and will prevent proper bone growth.

9. Reduced estrogen levels (especially in post-menopausal women) upsets the normal balance between bone creation and breakdown, making bones more brittle and increasing the risk of fractures.

10. Weight bearing exercise is necessary to maintain and build bone mass. Do not be afraid of lifting heavy things … just learn to do them properly!

So, Got Milk is not the way to bone health. Got a nutrient dense diet, stress reduction and exercise is!

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