Dairy foods are a complex source of essential nutrients. In this study, fluid dairy intake, specifically milk, and yogurt intakes were associated with hip but not spine bone mineral density (BMD), while cream may adversely influence BMD, suggesting that not all dairy products are equally beneficial for the skeleton.
Purpose: This study seeks to examine associations of milk, yogurt, cheese, cream, most dairy (total dairy without cream), and fluid dairy (milk + yogurt) with BMD at femoral neck (FN), trochanter (TR), and spine, and with incident hip fracture over 12-year follow-up in the Framingham Offspring Study.
Methods: Three thousand two hundred twelve participants completed a food frequency questionnaire (1991–1995 or 1995–1998) and were followed for hip fracture until 2007 [corrected]. Two thousand five hundred and six participants had DXA BMD (1996-2001). Linear regression was used to estimate adjusted mean BMD while Cox-proportional hazards regression was used to estimate adjusted hazard ratios (HR) for hip fracture risk. Final models simultaneously included dairy foods adjusting for each other.
Results: Mean baseline age was 55 (±1.6) years, range 26-85. Most dairy intake was positively associated with hip and spine BMD. Intake of fluid dairy and milk was related with hip but not spine BMD. Yogurt intake was associated with TR-BMD alone. Cheese and cream intakes were not associated with BMD. In final models, yogurt intake remained positively associated with TR-BMD, while cream tended to be negatively associated with FN-BMD. Yogurt intake showed a weak protective trend for hip fracture [HR(95%CI), ≤4 serv/week, 0.46 (0.21-1.03) vs. >4 serv/week, 0.43 (0.06-3.27)]. No other dairy groups showed a significant association (HRs range, 0.53-1.47) with limited power (n, fractures = 43).
Conclusion: Milk and yogurt intakes were associated with hip but not spine BMD, while cream may adversely influence BMD. Thus, not all dairy products are equally beneficial for the skeleton. Suggestive fracture results for milk and yogurt intakes need further confirmation.