Increased yogurt consumption may significantly reduce the risk of osteoporosis in elderly by improving bone health, a new study claims.
"Yogurt is a rich source of different bone promoting nutrients and thus our findings in some ways are not surprising," said Eamon Laird from Trinity College Dublin in Ireland.
The largest observational study to date of dairy intakes and bone and frailty measurements in older adults found that increased yogurt consumption was associated with a higher hip bone density and a significantly reduced risk of osteoporosis in older women and men.
Osteoporosis is a chronic condition associated with a reduction in bone strength and an increased risk of bone fracture.
Researchers studied about 1,057 women and 763 men who underwent a bone-mineral-density (BMD) assessment and 2,624 women and 1,290 men who had their physical function measured.
Yogurt consumption information was obtained from a questionnaire and categorised as never, 2-3 times per week and more than one serving per day.
Other factors examined included daily intakes of other dairy products, meat, fish, smoking and alcohol and other traditional risk factors that affect bone health.
To determine the risk factors for being diagnosed as osteoporotic, researchers analysed a wide range of factors such as Body Mass Index (BMI), kidney function, physical activity, servings of milk or cheese, and calcium or vitamin D supplements as well as traditional risk factors for bone health eg smoking, inactivity, alcohol etc.
After adjusting for all these factors, each unit increase in yogurt intake in women was associated with a 31 per cent lower risk of osteopenia and a 39 per cent lower risk of osteoporosis, researchers said.
In men, a 52 per cent lower risk of osteoporosis was found. Vitamin D supplements were also associated with significantly reduced risks both in men and women.
Researchers found that total hip and femoral neck bone mineral density measures in females were 3.1-3.9 per cent higher among those with the highest yogurt intakes compared to the lowest.
In men, the biomarker of bone breakdown was 9.5 per cent lower in those with the highest yogurt intakes compared to the lowest. This is an indication of reduced bone turnover.
"The data suggest that improving yogurt intakes could be a strategy for maintaining bone health but it needs verification through future research as it is observational," Laird said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)