Dairy products, dietary calcium and bone health: possibility of prevention of osteoporosis in women: the Polish experience

Nutrients. 2013 Jul 16;5(7):2684-707. doi: 10.3390/nu5072684.


The objective of the study was to analyze the consumption of dairy products and dietary calcium by women in the context of bone mineral density and to assess opportunities to prevent osteoporosis in a dietary manner. The study was carried out with 712 Polish women. In 170 women aged 32 to 59 bone mineral density (BMD) was measured. The data on the consumption of dairy products and dietary calcium and some other osteoporosis risk factors was collected from 712 women. The average calcium intake from a diet was 507 mg/day. Only 2% of the women met Polish calcium intake recommendations. During adulthood, dairy product consumption or dietary calcium intake did not differ significantly between women with low BMD (below -1 SD) and women with regular BMD (≥-1 SD) (47.4 vs. 44.3 servings/week and 459 vs. 510 mg/day, respectively, p > 0.05). The odds ratios adjusted for age, menstruation and BMI in women with upper BMD tercile in comparison to the reference group (bottom tercile) was 2.73 (95% CI: 1.14, 6.55; p < 0.05) for the daily consumption of dairy products during the pre-school period and 2.40 (95% CI: 1.01, 5.70; p < 0.05) for the daily consumption of dairy products during the school period. Two clusters of women were established. In the S1 cluster, low BMD (below -1 SD) was associated with older age (≥ 50 years), lack of menstrual cycle. In the S2 cluster, regular BMD (≥-1 SD) was related to younger aged women (<50 years), presence of menstrual cycle, consumption of higher level of dairy products (≥28 servings/week) during adulthood and daily intake of dairy products during childhood and adolescence. The results indicate that good bone health to the larg e extent depended upon the combined impact of dietary factors and some non-modifiable risk factors of osteoporosis such as age and the presence of menstruation. Consumption of dairy products in childhood and adolescence may improve bone mineral density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis in adult women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bone Density / physiology
  • Bone and Bones / physiology*
  • Calcium, Dietary / administration & dosage*
  • Dairy Products*
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoporosis / prevention & control*
  • Poland
  • Recommended Dietary Allowances
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Whites


  • Calcium, Dietary