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Calcium, dairy products, and bone health in children and young adults: a reevaluation of the evidence.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

Numerous nutrition policy statements recommend the consumption of 800 to 1500 mg of calcium largely from dairy products for osteoporosis prevention; however, the findings of epidemiologic and prospective studies have raised questions about the efficacy of the use of dairy products for the promotion of bone health. The objective of this study was to review existing literature on the effects of dairy products and total dietary calcium on bone integrity in children and young adults to assess whether evidence supports (1) current recommended calcium intake levels and (2) the suggestion that dairy products are better for promoting bone integrity than other calcium-containing food sources or supplements.

METHODS

A Medline (National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD) search was conducted for studies published on the relationship between milk, dairy products, or calcium intake and bone mineralization or fracture risk in children and young adults (1-25 years). This search yielded 58 studies: 22 cross-sectional studies; 13 retrospective studies; 10 longitudinal prospective studies; and 13 randomized, controlled trials.

RESULTS

Eleven of the studies did not control for weight, pubertal status, and exercise and were excluded. Ten studies were randomized, controlled trials of supplemental calcium, 9 of which showed modest positive benefits on bone mineralization in children and adolescents. Of the remaining 37 studies of dairy or unsupplemented dietary calcium intake, 27 studies found no relationship between dairy or dietary calcium intake and measures of bone health. In the remaining 9 reports, the effects on bone health are small and 3 were confounded by vitamin D intake from milk fortified with vitamin D. Therefore, in clinical, longitudinal, retrospective, and cross-sectional studies, neither increased consumption of dairy products, specifically, nor total dietary calcium consumption has shown even a modestly consistent benefit for child or young adult bone health.

CONCLUSION

Scant evidence supports nutrition guidelines focused specifically on increasing milk or other dairy product intake for promoting child and adolescent bone mineralization.

Links

  • Publisher Full Text
  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, 5100 Wisconsin Ave NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20016, USA. alanou@pcrm.org

    ,

    Source

    Pediatrics 115:3 2005 Mar pg 736-43

    MeSH

    Adolescent
    Adult
    Bone Density
    Calcium, Dietary
    Child
    Dairy Products
    Female
    Humans

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Review

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    15741380

    Citation

    Lanou, Amy Joy, et al. "Calcium, Dairy Products, and Bone Health in Children and Young Adults: a Reevaluation of the Evidence." Pediatrics, vol. 115, no. 3, 2005, pp. 736-43.
    Lanou AJ, Berkow SE, Barnard ND. Calcium, dairy products, and bone health in children and young adults: a reevaluation of the evidence. Pediatrics. 2005;115(3):736-43.
    Lanou, A. J., Berkow, S. E., & Barnard, N. D. (2005). Calcium, dairy products, and bone health in children and young adults: a reevaluation of the evidence. Pediatrics, 115(3), pp. 736-43.
    Lanou AJ, Berkow SE, Barnard ND. Calcium, Dairy Products, and Bone Health in Children and Young Adults: a Reevaluation of the Evidence. Pediatrics. 2005;115(3):736-43. PubMed PMID: 15741380.
    * Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
    TY - JOUR T1 - Calcium, dairy products, and bone health in children and young adults: a reevaluation of the evidence. AU - Lanou,Amy Joy, AU - Berkow,Susan E, AU - Barnard,Neal D, PY - 2005/3/3/pubmed PY - 2005/6/18/medline PY - 2005/3/3/entrez SP - 736 EP - 43 JF - Pediatrics JO - Pediatrics VL - 115 IS - 3 N2 - OBJECTIVE: Numerous nutrition policy statements recommend the consumption of 800 to 1500 mg of calcium largely from dairy products for osteoporosis prevention; however, the findings of epidemiologic and prospective studies have raised questions about the efficacy of the use of dairy products for the promotion of bone health. The objective of this study was to review existing literature on the effects of dairy products and total dietary calcium on bone integrity in children and young adults to assess whether evidence supports (1) current recommended calcium intake levels and (2) the suggestion that dairy products are better for promoting bone integrity than other calcium-containing food sources or supplements. METHODS: A Medline (National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD) search was conducted for studies published on the relationship between milk, dairy products, or calcium intake and bone mineralization or fracture risk in children and young adults (1-25 years). This search yielded 58 studies: 22 cross-sectional studies; 13 retrospective studies; 10 longitudinal prospective studies; and 13 randomized, controlled trials. RESULTS: Eleven of the studies did not control for weight, pubertal status, and exercise and were excluded. Ten studies were randomized, controlled trials of supplemental calcium, 9 of which showed modest positive benefits on bone mineralization in children and adolescents. Of the remaining 37 studies of dairy or unsupplemented dietary calcium intake, 27 studies found no relationship between dairy or dietary calcium intake and measures of bone health. In the remaining 9 reports, the effects on bone health are small and 3 were confounded by vitamin D intake from milk fortified with vitamin D. Therefore, in clinical, longitudinal, retrospective, and cross-sectional studies, neither increased consumption of dairy products, specifically, nor total dietary calcium consumption has shown even a modestly consistent benefit for child or young adult bone health. CONCLUSION: Scant evidence supports nutrition guidelines focused specifically on increasing milk or other dairy product intake for promoting child and adolescent bone mineralization. SN - 1098-4275 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/15741380/full_citation L2 - http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=15741380 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -