- Dairy products, such as cheese or yogurt, are rich in calcium and protein, which help build bone density.
- High consumption of dairy products among the elderly for two years resulted in a 33% reduction in the risk of fractures of all kinds.
- The researchers also found that the overall fall risk was 11% lower.
Dairy products are friends for life. In any case, for the elderly they are undoubtedly allies for good bone health. New research by Australian scientists, published on September 23 in British Medical Journal, argues that adding more dairy products to the elderly’s diet helps prevent accidental falls and fractures.
Calcium and protein
Dairy products, such as cheese or yogurt, are rich in calcium and protein, which help build bone density. “Many elderly people who live in nursing homes tend to follow a questionable diet, which invariably leads to weak bones and an increased risk of falls., say the study authors. Most estimates suggest that about 30% of all hip fractures occur in nursing home residents. “
The researchers tried to determine whether getting the recommended daily fixed amounts of calcium (1,300 mg) and protein (1 g/kg body weight) from food actually leads to a significant reduction in the incidence of falls and resulting fractures.
To do this, they observed 7,195 residents of 60 Australian institutions for two years. Participants were generally healthy in terms of vitamin D intake levels, but nearly everyone ate well below the recommended levels of calcium and protein each day. During the study period, half of the care homes started giving residents more cheese, milk, and yogurt, while the other half stuck to their usual menu.
33% fewer fractures
At the end of the follow-up period, a total of 324 fractures—including 135 hip fractures—had been identified, 4,302 falls and 1,744 deaths. The results show that in nursing homes that introduced more dairy products, the risk of fractures of all kinds decreased by 33%. Specifically, having more dairy products reduced the risk of hip fractures by 46%. The researchers also found that the overall fall risk was 11% lower.
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