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01.12.2018 | Original Article | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

Archives of Osteoporosis 1/2018

Dairy product intake and bone properties in 70-year-old men and women

Archives of Osteoporosis > Ausgabe 1/2018
Olle M. Hallkvist, Jonas Johansson, Anna Nordström, Peter Nordström, Andreas Hult



In the present population-based study including 70-year-old men and women, total dairy product intake was associated with a weak positive association with tibia trabecular and cortical cross-sectional areas.


Milk consumption has recently been suggested to increase fracture risk. Therefore, we aimed to investigate associations between dairy product consumption and peripheral bone properties. Furthermore, we explored whether consumption of milk and fermented dairy products affected bone properties differently.


The Healthy Aging Initiative is a population-based, cross-sectional study investigating the health of 70-year-old men and women. Out of the 2904 individuals who met the inclusion criteria, data on self-reported daily dairy product consumption (dl/day), peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT) examinations at the 4 and 66% scan sites of the tibia and radius, and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans were collected from 2040 participants. Associations between dairy product consumption and bone properties were examined using multiple linear regression models adjusted for sex, muscle area, meal size, dietary protein proportion, current smoking status, and objectively measured physical activity.


Total dairy product intake was associated with larger trabecular (2.296 (95% CI, 0.552–4.039) mm2, per dl/day increase, p = 0.01) and cortical cross-sectional areas (CSAs) in the tibia (1.757 (95% CI, 0.683–2.830 mm2, p = 0.001) as measured by pQCT and higher areal bone mineral density (aBMD) of the radius (3.231 (95% CI, 0.764–5.698) mg/cm2, p = 0.01) as measured by DXA. No other measurement in the tibia, radius, femoral neck, or lower spine was associated significantly with dairy product intake. Bone properties did not differ according to the type of dairy product consumed.


No evidence of a negative association between dairy product consumption and bone health was found. Furthermore, total dairy product consumption was associated with increased CSAs in the tibia, regardless of dairy product type. Collectively, our findings indicate the existence of a weak but significant positive association between dairy product consumption bone properties in older adults.

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