is milk good for your bones
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Is Milk Good for Your Bones? 10 Excellent Benefits

The first food source that any individual intake after birth is Milk. Every person feeds their mother’s milk to grow and get stronger for years till they get big enough to feed upon food. This answers the question, is milk good for your bones? YES!

It has so many health benefits and products made of it which are used all over the world, some of them might be your favorite too. So, let us begin with bone health, the benefits of milk, tasty dairy products, and much more.

1. Is Milk Good for Your Bones?

We know the first nutrition we get from breastfeeding, that is, from our mother’s milk. Yes, milk is the best source of essential nutrients required for bone health.

Do you want to know how? let us find out its contents, benefits, different sources and alternatives of milk, and much more. Before we get to know about the benefits of drinking milk for your bones let us start with bone health first.

1.1. Bones Are Made Up Of?

Bones are made up of 90% collagen protein and 10% of non-collagen protein. Most of its part is made up of an inorganic component called hydroxyapatite ((Ca) 10 (PO4) 6 (OH) 2)some water, and organic components.

Major mineral components of bone are calcium and phosphorous in insoluble forms.

1.2. Bone Health

Calcium makes the bones strong and flexible enough to provide protection against bone fracture and prevent osteoporosis. Milk consumption provides all these essential nutrients like calcium, phosphorous, vitamin D and vitamin K.

It is also a great source of protein which is vital for your bone strength.

2. Health Benefits of Milk

is milk good for your bones
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2.1. Source of Calcium

Milk is the best source of calcium. In 100 grams of milk, there are 125 mg of calcium content in it. It also contains protein and vitamin D for better growth.

Dietary guidelines recommend consuming two to three servings per day of dairy products that are fat-free or contain low fat for better health results.

2.2. Reduce the Risk of Osteoporosis

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Many studies reveal women are more prone to osteoporosis twice as men. Milk and dairy products reduce the risk related to osteoporosis.

It is a condition in which your bone are at increased risk of bone fractures because they become brittle and fragile making them prone to fractures. This happens due to the loss of tissues in the bone that might be the cause of not consuming enough vitamin D or calcium.

It causes loss of bone mass and bone density which makes it important for one with this condition to intake adequate amounts of dietary calcium or calcium supplements.

2.3. Bone Mineral Density

Vitamin D is as important as any other nutrient for your bone health. If it lacks in your body it might not absorb the calcium and phosphate properly affecting normal bone mineralization. Milk is a source of increasing bone mineral density.

Low bone density can be encountered in people who have been cancer patients.

X-ray test is conducted to measure the number of contents available in a person’s body. The more your body will be rich in minerals the more will be bone density and strength and vice-versa.

2.4. Protection Against Cardiovascular Disease

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Milk contains saturated fats that are a rich source of omega fatty acids and hence protect against coronary heart diseases. It reduces the risk of diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease.

The calcium and lactose content of milk along with its property of helping the liver to release bile acid more frequently facilitates the lower cholesterol level.

2.5. Maintaining Weight

Drinking milk maintains weight loss as it contains body fat, it increases the body mass index. When intake as a blend of milk with other products produces tasty smoothies and shakes, it surely helps in muscle growth.

Though, experts say milk does not gain weight but helps maintain it by muscle building.

2.6. Makes Your Teeth Strong

For sure milk makes your teeth and enamel stronger and healthier. It prevents tooth decay and strengthens the jaw bone keeping your teeth strong and intact.

It contains all the essential nutrients needed for building the teeth such as calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, and vitamin D.

2.7. Skin Benefits

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Milk has a nourishing ability that enables it to provide glowing skin. It helps cure acne as it contains lactic acid that deeply cleanses your skin pores and reduces inflammation providing beautiful smooth skin.

It also removes dead skin cells and provides lighten-brighten even tone skin.

The moisturizing property of milk helps cure dry and flaky skin. The increase of collagen helps delay aging and vitamin D provides soft and bouncy skin.

2.8. Benefits Postmenopausal Women

Estrogen a sexual hormone plays a vital role in calcium absorption in women but after menopause women lack this hormone release which might cause problems like calcium deficit. This is the reason women are asked to take care of themselves even more.

It is found that vitamin D helps in mass loss and a lean body in postmenopausal women.

2.9. Boosts Muscle Growth

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Milk promotes increased muscle protein synthesis and hence, muscle building. Whole milk might be proven more efficient in bulking due to its fat content. It is better to drink milk after physical activity or training as it helps in muscle growth efficiently.

The Whey and Casein proteins are the main two protein contents of cow’s milk that helps in gaining a lean body type.

2.10. Protection Against Chronic Diseases

Diseases that go on for a long course of time such as cancer, heart disease, hypertension, and more are known as chronic diseases. The presence of calcium, protein, vitamins, minerals and more make the milk perfect for us to consume these products on daily basis and maintain our health.

Since dairy products are rich in nutrients they help in preventing such diseases.

3. Role Of:

3.1. Breast Milk

Breast Milk is produced by the mammary glands in a female’s breasts that contain just the right amount of all the nutrients for the baby and its growth after birth called Colostrum.

Breastfed babies are immune to sudden infant death syndrome; they are stronger and get protection against infections as it produces antibodies and white blood cells in large numbers providing all the prevention. It is very essential for a baby’s health.

is milk good for your bones
By Kate/pixabay. Copyright 2016
  • Calories: 70
  • Sugars: 7 gram
  • Total Fat: 4.4 grams
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Total Carbs: 7 grams

3.2. Drinking Cow’s Milk

Drinking cow’s milk every day is healthy and can provide various health benefits. It contains not only essential nutrients but also Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) that protect high cholesterol levels. It is good for all age groups, prevents inflammatory issues, and boosts immunity.

  • Calories: 42
  • Sugars: 5 gram
  • Total Fat: 1 gram
  • Protein: 4 grams
  • Total Carbs: 5 grams

3.3. Goat’s Milk

Goat milk is very common in many countries and preferred over other kinds of milk due to its more nutrient potential in it and lower risk of allergic reactions. Even it is observed people with cow’s milk allergy can use goat’s milk as an alternative. It is more creamy and thick.

Its protein serving is higher than others and a good source of vitamin A. It is easily digestible and increases immunity by increasing the number of platelet in your body.

  • Calories: 69
  • Sugars: 4.5 gram
  • Total Fat: 4.1 grams
  • Protein: 3.6 grams
  • Total Carbs: 4.5 grams

3.4.  Sheep’s Milk

Sheep’s milk is used for manufacturing dairy products such as cheese. It is found that people with lactose intolerance may find it safe to consume dairy products made up of sheep’s milk.

It contains fatty acids, immunoglobulins, proteins, hormones, and more. Hence, promoting better health and smooth functioning of the body.

is milk good for your bones
By Sam Carter/unsplash. Copyright 2017
  • Calories: 108
  • Sugars: 4 gram
  • Total Fat: 7 grams
  • Protein: 6 grams
  • Total Carbs: 5 grams

3.5. Pasteurized Milk

Pasteurized milk is obtained by the process of pasteurization in which chilled milk is heated up at a very high temperature for a limited period and immediately chilled down again to bring it back to its normal temperature.

This is done to kill all the harmful germs present in it to avoid the diseases like listeriosis, typhoid fever, tuberculosis, diphtheria, and more.

  • Calories: 152
  • Sugars: 12 gram
  • Total Fat: 8 grams
  • Protein: 8 grams
  • Total Carbs: 12 grams

3.6. Whole Milk

Whole milk is regular milk with fat content in it. It contains 87% of water and the remaining percent of essential minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin D, and vitamin B. It helps in reducing the risk related to metabolism.

is milk good for your bones
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  • Calories: 152
  • Sugars: 12 gram
  • Total Fat: 8 grams
  • Protein: 8 grams
  • Total Carbs: 11 grams

Although it is considered for a long time that due to the presence of saturated fat in whole milk, it is not healthy and must avoid milk consumption. But no such scientific evidence is present that can prove this point hundred percent right.

4. Lactose Intolerant

Lactose is the sugar content of milk and its products. People with lactose intolerance suffer from various health issues on consuming milk. That’s why they are recommended to avoid dairy consumption.

4.1. Cause

An enzyme known as Lactase is responsible for this condition. When it does not work properly, that is, it is unable to digest enough lactose (milk sugar), it starts causing health problem in the individual’s body and make it difficult for them to drink milk.

When lactase functions properly and breaks the milk sugar into glucose and galactose to get absorbed into the bloodstream taking place in the small intestine, the individual is easily able to digest the milk and dairy products.

Although, milk intake becomes difficult for the one who could not digest lactose due to malfunctioning of the lactase enzyme. As lactose does not undergo the absorption process and directly enters the colon making direct contact with the bacteria which eventually leads to various symptoms. Even dairy products lead to such issues due to the presence of lactose content in them.

4.2. Symptoms

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  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Nausea

4.3. Alternative – Plant-Based Milks

The one with the lactose intolerant problem must also need to fulfil their calcium needs to build strong bones. If you can not intake milk and its products how will you fulfil your calcium need then? The answer is simple – the alternative to natural milk has been found with various benefits in them.

Let us discuss some of those alternative kinds of milk that can be consumed on behalf of regular milk.

4.3.1. Almond Milk

is milk good for your bones
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It is made up of Almonds that are rich in vitamin E and provide cardiovascular health benefits. It reduces the risk of heart attack, stroke, or cancer.

Nutrition value of  unsweetened Almond milk:

  • Calories: 40
  • Sugars: 0.2 gram
  • Total Fat: 3 grams
  • Protein: 2 grams
  • Total Carbs: 1 gram

4.3.2. Soy Milk

It is protein-rich milk made from soybeans. It reduces risk factors of Alzheimer’s due to the presence of “healthy fat”, i.e., Omega 3 fatty acid. For more on Omega fatty acids click here.

Nutrition value of  unsweetened Soy milk:

  • Calories: 80
  • Sugars: 1 gram
  • Total Fat: 4 grams
  • Protein: 7 grams
  • Total Carbs: 4 grams

4.3.3. Oat Milk

It has a creamy texture derived from the whole oat that provides bone strength, and regulated blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels. To know its excellent benefits click here.

Nutrition value of  unsweetened Oat milk:

  • Calories: 90
  • Sugars: 0 grams
  • Total Fat: 2.5 grams
  • Protein: 3 grams
  • Total Carbs: 8 grams

4.3.4. Coconut Milk

is milk good for your bones
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Made from coconut, it is rich in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) that help in weight loss and increasing energy.

Nutrition value of  unsweetened Coconut milk:

  • Calories: 50
  • Sugars: 0 gram
  • Total Fat: 5 grams
  • Protein: 0 gram
  • Total Carbs: 2 grams

4.3.5. Rice Milk

It is a good source of not only calcium but also vitamin D and vitamin A. It is sweeter of all and least allergenic.

Nutrition value of  unsweetened Rice milk:

  • Calories: 120
  • Sugars: 10 grams
  • Total Fat: 2 grams
  • Protein: 0 grams
  • Total Carbs: 22 grams

5. Cow’s Milk Allergy

This is not a very common condition, unlike lactose intolerance. This situation usually occurs in infants till the age of 6. Infants with this issue need to give up on all cow milk as well as dairy products because of which people with this allergy lack calcium, vitamin D, and other essential nutrients. Hence, become prone to chronic diseases like osteoporosis as this causes lower body mass density.

5.1. Cause

Whey and casein are the two main protein fractions of cow’s milk that contains a significant amount of allergens. People sensitive to these proteins are the ones who suffer from cow’s milk allergy.

It might be immediate and occur within a few minutes of milk consumption or it might show its symptoms after a few hours of its consumption.

It is categorized into two types:

  • IgE-mediated
  • non-IgE-mediated

5.2. Symptoms

Immediate reactions that may occur are:

  • Rashes or swelling – of lips or around the mouth
  • Dyspnea – shortness of breath
  • Coughing – reflex against throat irritation
  • Vomiting – spilling milk out of the body due to indigestion
  • Stomach ache – feeling pain in the stomach area
  • Anaphylaxis – severe, life-taking allergic reaction

Slow and steady reactions that may occur are:

  • Diarrhea – frequent and liquid stool excretion
  • Cramps – sudden contraction of muscles
  • Hay fever – runny nose
  • Colic – continuous, loud, long, and intense cry in infants
  • Eczema – causing flaky and itchy skin

5.3. Treatment

This usually occurs in infants so if your child is breastfeeding it would be recommended that the mother not intake any dairy products or such product which contains cow’s milk. If the child is big enough to eat then, he/she should be provided with some other dietary supplements to fulfil their body’s needs.

Hypoallergenic formulas are used for the breakdown of milk proteins because they are hydrolyzed via enzymes. Based on its hydrolysis products are defined as partially or extensively hydrolyzed.

Antihistamines may be used in case only mild allergic reactions are recorded. Otherwise, for serious reactions, epinephrine injections are used immediately in an emergency.

6. Milk Consumption

is milk good for your bones
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It is perfectly fine to consume milk every day without any health issues. It is recommended to consume two glasses of milk every day as a sufficient amount. Though it is found Americans consume three or more glasses a day which is more than enough. This also happens due to their increased intake of dairy products.

For stronger bones and peak bone mass, it is okay to intake two glasses a day or approx. 500 ml per day without any health issues. Though it is not at all recommended for those with milk allergies or lactose intolerants.

If you face issues in consuming milk, leave it and consult the doctor immediately for the problem. You might be having some resistance against milk and dairy products that makes you unable to consume these products.

Ignoring the issues and continuing consumption might lead to severe disease or effects, so never ignore and consult the specialist as soon as possible.

There are many ways of fulfilling your need for vital nutrients. Alternatives have arrived in the market for milk. Calcium supplements are also available to serve your body’s needs.

7. Effects of Drinking Too Much Milk

Drinking too much milk might cause various problems for an individual. That is the reason it is recommended either to take the normal amount of milk or consult your dietician for the best amount for you, first.

Otherwise, one might face problems like:

  • Cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Vomiting
  • Skin reactions
  • Stomach reactions

8. Milk And Dairy Products

Infants feed breast milk and get all the strength during their infancy period. As the age grows we start decreasing the amount of milk consumption.

During childhood, we all are forced and scolded by our parents to drink milk. So, they keep eye on us and our health. But as we enter adulthood, this consumption decreases suddenly as we start inclining towards beverages and ignore that only one glass of milk can also be consumed for strong bones.

This way our bones start weakening because of a lack of calcium, vitamin D, and other required nutrients. Instead of just letting things go include milk in your daily diet plan and fulfill your needs.

So let us see what you might add to your healthy diet plan for calcium supply.

8.1. Dairy Products

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  • Yogurt – produced by fermentation of milk sugar via bacteria. They are rich in live culture, or probiotics, that support the gut microbiota along with the other essential nutrients in it. It helps in boosting the immune system.
  • Butter – is obtained from churned milk or cream which contains fat and protein contents in it. It supports healthy skin. It is a source of vitamin D and helps in building strong bones.
  • Cheese – is made from milk protein content known as casein by its coagulation. It is high in vitamin B12, calcium, and protein and helps you gain weight. Supports gut health and cognitive health.
  • Kefir – Cultured from kefir grains this fermented milk beverage is very popular in recent times. It has anti-bacterial properties and better probiotic than yogurt. It is a perfect choice for your keto diet.
  • Ice Cream – sweet, a frozen tasty dessert made up of milk or cream full of vitamin and mineral content. It helps in boosting your energy and provides better immunity.

8.2. Calcium-Rich Foods

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  • Seeds – 46 mg
  • Leafy Greens – 99 mg
  • Canned Salmon – 9 mg
  • Spinach – 99 mg
  • Tofu – 350 mg
  • Sardines with bones – 800 mg
  • Rhubarb – 86 mg
  • Soybeans – 277 mg
  • Whey Protein – 47 mg
  • Oranges – 40 mg

This dietary calcium facilitates your bone health and provides strength. Your body needs to consume enough calcium and vitamin D to maintain the peak body mass to provide you immunity against fractures.

9. Final Note

Now, since you have got all the information related to milk and bone health it is time for you to take a step ahead and think of the best diet plan to fulfil your calcium requirement to have strong bones. Or simply drink plenty of milk if not having issues with it.

Physical activity is a must for your body’s health so never ignore that. It is not just a necessity but also your need to take care of your body to live a healthy, safe and happy life.

Sometimes, we might not realize the significance of milk and its essential nutrients. But it is very harmful to ignore the fact that how it provides so many health benefits and prevents long-term diseases.

Look for the benefits and all the products you find best for you to find it exciting to follow a tasty diet instead of finding it a boring routine. Go on and find the best for you and your health.

STAY SAFE! STAY HEALTHY!

Bhoomika Singh
Pursuing Bachelors in Computer Science from Delhi University. A Content Writer at Icytales. An anime artist and a member of Delhi University college's Fine Arts Society, Maniera.