News ID: 192576
Published: 1215 GMT May 12, 2017

Yoghurt consumption cuts osteoporosis risk

Yoghurt consumption cuts osteoporosis risk

Pensioners who eat a daily pot of yoghurt slash their risk of suffering from brittle bone syndrome by half, according to new research.

Men over 60 who eat a pot of yoghurt every day could reduce their risk of developing osteoporosis by 52 percent, while older women could cut their risk by more than a third (39 percent) compared to not eating any, suggests the study, reported.

And researchers say the more yoghurt they eat, the greater the benefit for their bone health.

The largest ever observational study of dairy intake and bone frailty in older people has found that increased yoghurt consumption was associated with a higher hip bone density and a significantly reduced risk of osteoporosis in men and women over 60.

The findings of the Irish study, led by Trinity College Dublin scientists, showed that total hip and femoral neck bone mineral density measures in women were 3.1 to 3.9 percent higher among those who ate the most yoghurt compared to none at all.

And improvements were also seen in some of the physical function measures of women (6.7 percent better).

In men, the biomarker of bone breakdown was 9.5 percent lower in those who ate the most yoghurt, compared to the lowest.

To determine risk factors for being diagnosed with osteoporosis, the researchers analyzed a range of measures including body mass index (BMI), kidney function, physical activity, servings of milk or cheese, and calcium or vitamin D supplements as well as traditional risk factors for bone health, such as drinking and smoking.

After adjusting for all the factors, each unit increase in yoghurt intake in women was associated with a 39 percent lower risk of osteoporosis and a 31 percent lower risk of osteopenia, a less severe form of the condition.

In men, a 52 percent lower risk of osteoporosis was found. Vitamin D supplements were also associated with ‘significantly reduced risks’ both in men and women.

Osteoporosis, or brittle bone syndrome, is a chronic condition associated with a reduction in bone strength and an increased risk of breaking bones.

The associated costs of osteoporotic fractures are estimated to be more than £540 million a year in Europe.

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