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J Bone Miner Res. 2018 Jul;33(7):1283-1290. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.3414. Epub 2018 Mar 30.

Higher Dairy Food Intake Is Associated With Higher Spine Quantitative Computed Tomography (QCT) Bone Measures in the Framingham Study for Men But Not Women.

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Division of Human Nutrition, Wageningen University and Research Centre, Wageningen, the Netherlands.
Institute for Aging Research, Hebrew SeniorLife, Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
Center of Research on Psychology in Somatic Diseases, Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology, Tilburg University, Tilburg, the Netherlands.
Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health, University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom.
Center for Advanced Orthopaedic Studies, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.


Previous studies found that dairy foods were associated with higher areal bone mineral density (BMD). However, data on bone geometry or compartment-specific bone density is lacking. In this cross-sectional study, the association of milk, yogurt, cheese, cream, milk+yogurt, and milk+yogurt+cheese intakes with quantitative computed tomography (QCT) measures of bone were examined, and we determined if associations were modified by serum vitamin D (25-OH D, tertiles) or age (<50 versus ≥50 years). Participants were 1522 men and 1104 women (aged 32 to 81 years, mean 50 years [men]; 55 years [women]) from the Framingham Heart Study with measures of dairy food intake (servings/wk) from a food-frequency questionnaire, volumetric BMD (vBMD, integral and trabecular, g/cm3 ), cross-sectional area (CSA, cm2 ), and estimated vertebral compressive strength (VCS, N) and 25-OH D (radioimmunoassay). Sex-specific multivariable linear regression was used to calculate the association of dairy food intake (energy adjusted) with each QCT measure, adjusting for covariates. Mean milk intake ±SD was 6 ± 7 servings/week in both men and women. In men, higher intake of milk, milk+yogurt, and milk+yogurt+cheese was associated with higher integral (p = 0.001 to 0.006) and trabecular vBMD (p = 0.006 to 0.057) and VCS (p = 0.001 to 0.010). Further, a higher cheese intake was related with higher CSA (p = 0.049). In women, no significant results were observed for the dairy foods, except for a positive association of cream intake with CSA (p = 0.016). The associations appeared to be stronger in older men. Across 25-OH D tertiles, dairy was positively associated with bone health. In summary, men with higher intakes of milk, milk+yogurt, and milk+yogurt+cheese had higher trabecular and integral vBMD and VCS but not CSA. Dairy intake seems to be most beneficial for older men, and dairy continued to have positive associations among all 25-OH D levels.



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