This debate takes the center stage when it comes to discussions around veganism. Since childhood we have been hammered with the “fact” that milk provides calcium and is good for our bones, so we never questioned it. Now that people are getting more aware of the other alternatives they are starting to question instead of blindly following. Scientific evidence shows that dairy does the opposite of what it is believed to be doing, it makes our bones weak.

Some major scientific studies that proves that milk is not important for bones –

  • STUDY 1: Milk consumption and hip fractures in postmenopausal women
    A study titled ‘Calcium, vitamin D, milk consumption and hip fractures: a perspective study among postmenopausal women’ published in The American Journal of Clinical in February 2003. Under this study 72,337 postmenopausal women were observed for 18 years. This study demonstrated that dairy food such as milk, cheese, cream, sour cream, yogurt, ice cream etc did not reduce the risk of hip fractures. It was found that insufficient amount of ‘Vitamin D’ in the body was mainly responsible for hip fractures. ‘Vitamin D’ is very important in absorbing calcium.
  • STUDY 2: Milk consumption and stress fractures among female adolescents –
    A study published in JAMA pediatrics in July 2012, titled ‘Vitamin D, Calcium, and Dairy intakes and stress fractures among female adolescents’. This study observed 6712 girls between the age group 9-15 for five years. The study concluded that neither calcium nor dairy was associated with stress fractures. It also emphasized on the value of ‘Vitamin D’
  • STUDY 3: Milk consumption in teenage years and hip fractures as older adults
    Another study published by JAMA pediatrics in January 2014, titled ‘Milk consumption in teenage years and hip fractures in older adults’. This study involved 96,000 participants who were followed for 22 years. It concluded that greater consumption of milk during teenage years is not related to lower risk of hip fractures as adults.

These studies clearly show that there is hoax created around drinking milk and calcium. Milk has calcium in it, no doubt, but it is not solely responsible for it. As shown in the studies above ‘Vitamin D’ is very important for calcium absorption. So there is no need for camouflaging milk in foods or force feeding it to your children. Your bone health does not completely rely on drinking milk.

In India people consume milk more than once in a day in some form or the other but still there are many people who experience arthritis and other bone related health issues in older age. In fact India is named as the ‘osteoporosis capital in the world’ by a study. According to doctors India is facing an arthritic epidemic and in future things might get worse.