Dairy products and bone health

Aging Clin Exp Res. 2022 Jan;34(1):9-24. doi: 10.1007/s40520-021-01970-4. Epub 2021 Sep 7.


Bone mineral mass, geometry and microstructure, hence determinants of fracture risk, result bone accrual during growth and bone loss later in life. Peak bone mass, which is reached by the end of the second decade of life, is mainly determined by genetic factors. Among other factors influencing bone capital, dietary intakes, particularly calcium and protein, play a significant role in peak bone mass attainment. Both nutrients are provided in dairy products, which accounts for 50-60% and 20-30% of the daily calcium and protein intakes, respectively. Children avoiding dairy products are at higher risk of fracture, as are adults or older individuals following a diet devoid of dairy products, like vegans. Various intervention trials have shown some beneficial effects of dairy products on bone capital accumulation during growth and on bone turnover in adults. In observational studies, dairy products intake, particularly the fermented ones, which also provide probiotics in addition to calcium, phosphorus and protein, appear to be associated with a lower risk of hip fracture.

Keywords: Bone mineral density; Calcium; Fermented dairy products; Fracture; Growth; Nutrition; Osteoporosis; Probiotics; Protein.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bone Density*
  • Bone and Bones
  • Calcium, Dietary
  • Dairy Products
  • Humans
  • Osteoporosis*


  • Calcium, Dietary