Dairy Intake Is Protective against Bone Loss in Older Vitamin D Supplement Users: The Framingham Study

J Nutr. 2017 Apr;147(4):645-652. doi: 10.3945/jn.116.240390. Epub 2017 Mar 1.

Abstract

Background: Previous studies showed beneficial effects of specific dairy foods on bone health in middle-aged adults.Objective: We examined the association of milk, yogurt, cheese, cream, fluid dairy (milk + yogurt), and milk + yogurt + cheese intakes with bone mineral density (BMD) and 4-y percentage of change in BMD [▵%BMD; femoral neck, trochanter, and lumbar spine (LS)]. We further assessed whether these associations were modified by vitamin D supplement use in this cohort of older adults.Methods: Food-frequency questionnaire responses, baseline BMD (hip and spine, n = 862 in 1988-1989), and follow-up BMD (n = 628 in 1992-1993) were measured in the Framingham study, a prospective cohort study of older Caucasian men and women aged 67-93 y. Outcomes included baseline BMD and ▵%BMD. Dairy-food intakes (servings per week) were converted to energy-adjusted residuals, and linear regression was used, adjusting for covariates. These associations were further examined by vitamin D supplement use.Results: The mean age of the participants was 75 y. In the full sample, dairy-food items were not associated with BMD (P = 0.11-0.99) or with ▵%BMD (P = 0.29-0.96). Among vitamin D supplement users, but not among nonusers, higher milk, fluid dairy, and milk + yogurt + cheese intakes were associated with higher LS BMD (P = 0.011-0.009). Among vitamin D supplement users, but not among nonusers, higher milk + yogurt + cheese intakes were protective against trochanter BMD loss (P = 0.009).Conclusions: In this population of older adults, higher intakes of milk, fluid dairy, and milk + yogurt + cheese were associated with higher LS BMD, and a higher intake of milk + yogurt + cheese was protective against trochanter BMD loss among vitamin D supplement users but not among nonusers. These findings underscore that the benefits of dairy intake on the skeleton may be dependent on vitamin D intake.

Keywords: bone loss; bone mineral density; dairy food; milk; observational studies; older adults; osteoporosis; vitamin D.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging*
  • Bone Density*
  • Dairy Products*
  • Diet Surveys
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Osteoporosis / prevention & control
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage*

Substances

  • Vitamin D