Mailbag! Milk's Ugly Secret
Dear Living Well Daily Reader,
You’ve got questions…
We’ve got answers!
Bone loss is a serious concern as we age.
So you do what you can — you work out and eat a healthy diet that includes calcium-rich dairy, all in hopes that you’ll have strong bones well into your golden years.
But it turns out eating all that dairy may not be the bone-strengthening secret the mainstream has made it out to be.
Unless you’re taking it with a certain vitamin, that is.
Let’s dive in…
I’ve been eating dairy for years because my doctor tells me it’s good for my bones. But just yesterday, my neighbor told me I have to take vitamin D with dairy or it’s not going to protect my bones as well. My doc has never mentioned this before. Is this true? And if so, isn’t there already vitamin D in milk? Should I be taking more?
Excellent question, Julie. Many folks have questions about the role dairy plays in bone health.
Yes, your neighbor is correct. Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones because it helps your body absorb calcium and then directs it to your bones.
You see, many docs recommend milk and dairy products for bone health because they contain calcium, which can help strengthen your bones.
But they forget to tell you that calcium is pretty much useless to your bones if you’re not taking it with vitamin D.
For a new study, researchers looked at four years of the dietary and medical data on folks around age 75.
And what they found was shocking…
Dairy intake had zero effect on bone mineral density over the course of four years in folks not taking a vitamin D supplement. Meaning that no matter how much dairy they ate, it did not strengthen their bones.
On the other hand, folks who took vitamin D supplements with their calcium experienced increased bone mineral density (or stronger bones).
This means drinking milk, even when it’s fortified, won’t be enough to make your bones stronger. You really need to be getting as much vitamin D as possible to make sure the calcium actually makes it to your bones.
The type of vitamin D you should be taking is D3, which is the form naturally found in your body.
And there’s another important vitamin you should know about if you want to get the most out of your dairy — vitamin K2, which can keep calcium from getting into your arteries.
You see, when calcium enters the body, it needs helpers to get to your bones and not your arteries, where it can create dangerous blockages.
And that’s why taking vitamins D3 and K2 with any form of calcium is so important.
Taking this powerful nutrient combo can help keep your arteries clear and your bones strong, which makes it a no-brainer addition to a calcium-rich diet.
Managing editor, Living Well Daily
Written By Natalie Moore
Natalie Moore is a dedicated health researcher with a passion for finding healthy, natural, and science-based solutions. After a decade of direct healthcare experience in western and natural medicine, she was involved in public health research before joining Living Well Daily.
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