HealthNutrition

Is Milk Good for Your Bones?

The calcium that we need for our body is predominantly found in milk. It comes from any mammals, including cows, buffalo, goats, or sheep. There are many debates on whether milk is good for your bones, but one thing is for sure, milk is considered a magical element for a healthful diet. 

The most substantial portion of milk is its calcium nutrient, which is firmly proven beneficial for bones, teeth, and muscles. In fact, several doctors have recommended taking milk as a part of the diet, in order to prevent bone fractures and osteoporosis. 

Besides, other minerals and vitamins are found in milk, which can be detailed in the rest of the article.

pouring milk into a glass.
By Anita Jankovic/ Unsplash Copyrights 2020

1. What are the Nutrients Found in Milk? 

Speaking of the nutritional composition of milk, it has a high content of protein, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin D, Potassium, phosphorus, carbs, fats, calories, and many more. Nutrients, vitamins, and minerals are the fuel to our body. 

They are the important factors that enable our whole metabolism system to work efficiently. So, it is also important to consume them adequately and frequently. But the question is, where can we find the nutrients? Well, it is found in every green vegetable, fruit, and dairy product. However, here is a list of the nutrients found in milk and their benefits.

1.1 Calcium

Calcium is a prominent element that is found in the bones and skeleton of all human beings. Besides, milk is regarded as one of the best sources of calcium. 

From strengthening bones to regulating muscle functioning, heartbeat, blood clotting, enzymes, and other mechanisms, calcium is a must-have nutrient for a being. On the other hand, calcium deficiency leads to osteoporosis, where bones become fragile and brittle in old age. 

1.2 Casein

It contributes 80 percent of protein in milk, in fact, that’s the reason why milk is white. Its main functionality is boosting the absorption capacity of minerals, calcium, and phosphorus. In addition, it also provides a sufficient number of amino acids to help in building muscles. 

1.3 Whey Protein

Another protein that is found in milk, to bulk up and build muscles is whey protein. It contributes the remaining 20% of protein. Unlike casein, it is rich in branched chains of amino acids, that is, leucine, and valine

1.4 Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is an important mineral for infants especially, especially because it helps in developing brain cells and red blood cells. Low content of vitamin B12 leads to anemia and inactive brain functionality.  

1.5 Milk Fat

Milk fat is one of the complex fat contents in dairy products. Moreover, there are two types of milk fat in the market, such as whole milk containing approximately 3.25 percent of milk fat. Following that, we have low or skim milk, which contains only 1% milk fat. 

Milk fat has two extremes for an individual. One is beneficial in reducing the possibility of type 2 diabetes and blood pressure; whereas, in another case, it may enhance the chances of heart attacks. 

Milk in a Mason Jar
By Brian Suman/ Unsplash Copyrights 2019

1.6 Carbs

Carbs in milk are found mainly in the form of sugar lactose, which gives rise to 5% of milk. Milk is rich in lactose, and these are broken galactose upon digestion. 

The galactose is then absorbed into the bloodstream, which is then converted to glucose. Yet, some people do not have the required enzymes to break the components of lactose, and for that reason, they become lactose intolerant

1.7 Riboflavin

Also known as vitamin B2. It is beneficial in developing skin, blood cells, brain function, and the lining of the digestive tract. However, a deficiency in this vitamin may cause migraine and other blood-related conditions. 

1.8 Phosphorus 

This plays an essential role in every system of the body, including the nervous system, kidney, muscle, and heartbeat regulation. Phosphorus is good at keeping bones and teeth strong, aiding muscles in fast recovery after a quick workout session. 

Also, it filters and removes wastes from the kidney, promotes healthy nerve conduction across the body, forms DNA and RNA, and manages the body’s usage of energy.

2. What Makes Milk the Best Choice for Healthy Bones? 

Milk is often considered an essential constituent in any diet, especially when one needs robust bone health. In Particular, milk is rich in calcium content, which in fact, contributes the major part in strengthening the bones. Calcium is the primary building block of bone tissue, as it renders the hardness and rigidity of bones to support one’s body structure. 

A man drinking milk from a glass
By Joice Kelly/ Unsplash Copyrights 2021

On the other hand, all living beings are born with sufficient calcium content in their bones and teeth, however, over time, it may degrade, so it is better to augment calcium content through green vegetables, and dairy products. 

The development of bones initially starts during childhood and adolescence period, so, milk will ensure that bones reach their maximum potential strength and density. Subsequently, a lack of calcium will lead to osteoporosis, a condition characterized by weak and brittle bones. 

Besides, calcium also plays a vital role in the formation of muscles. Muscles also need an adequate amount of calcium in order to support and protect their bones from contraction and other injuries. Indeed, throughout our lives, bones tend to remodel in every aspect of our lives, where old bones are replaced by new bone tissues. 

Consequently, calcium becomes a must-have component to substantiate the new bone formation. 

Subsequently, the calcium in milk is readily absorbed by our body, thereby making it an effective source of minerals for bone health. In addition to calcium, milk also contains vitamin D, which enhances the quantity of calcium absorption in the body.  

3. Can Drinking Too Much Milk Be Dangerous to the Bone? 

Well, drinking too much milk can be both a good as well as a bad idea for an individual, depending on their age, gender, and lifestyle. In the abstract, the content of calcium is usually found lower in adults than in adolescents and pregnant women, so the intake of calcium must be noted. Continue reading to learn the pros and cons of consuming too much milk: 

3.1 Pros of Drinking Too Much Milk

1. Increased Calcium Intake

For maintaining a strong and healthy bone structure, the amount of calcium can be provided by milk.

2. Essential Nutrients Availability

As mentioned earlier, milk has a plentiful amount of nutrients, including vitamins such as calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K, and vitamin B12, and proteins. Followed by minerals like phosphorus, and riboflavin. These nutrients in milk are cardinal add-ons for overall health, mainly bone health. 

3. Hydration

Staying hydrated is as important as staying healthy. In that case, milk is liquid; consuming it every day makes sure you have reached your saturation point of hydration. 

Is milk good for your bones
By Robin Worrall/ Unsplash Copyrights 2019

3.2 Cons of Drinking Too Much Milk

1. Excess Calcium Absorption

Consuming too much milk can also lead to the absorption of more calcium than one needs. Disproportionate absorption of calcium gives rise to a condition called hypercalcemia, which results in kidney stones and other deleterious health issues. 

2. Imbalance with Other Nutrients

Milk can give sufficient nutrients, however, it may outpower other nutrients that are essential for growth. 

3. Risk of Osteoporosis 

In case you are suffering from osteoporosis, and taking medication for it, then it is advisable to consume milk in a decent portion. Because milk may affect the power of the medication. 

4. Harmful to Other Organs

Excessive calcium intake can support bone health efficiently; however, it may affect other organs like the kidneys and heart in great measure.  

4. Which Milk is the Best for the Bone? 

There are a lot of different types of milk, including low-fat, whole milk, oat, fat-free, almond milk, soy milk, rice milk, and hemp milk. Each milk contributes various health benefits. However, the best milk for the bones depends on the person’s dietary preferences, body compositional goals, and potential allergic reactions.

Anyone would urge you to go with more organic and rich-in calcium milk than artificial milk. In that case, cow’s milk, skim, or non-fat milk is highly recommended by experts as it contains a decent amount of calcium and calories. 

Almonds in a milk
By Austin Wilcox/ Unsplash Copyrights 2021

Cow’s milk is a classic choice if one wants to strengthen one’s bones because they are naturally rich in calcium. Whole milk has the highest calories, whereas, skim or fat-free has the lowest calorie count. 

In case you are lactose intolerant and live a dairy-free lifestyle, then it is preferable for you to opt for plant-based milk, such as almond, and soy milk. On the other hand, you can still boost your calcium intake through green vegetables, dairy-free supplements, and fortified cereals

6. Final Thoughts

Milk is widely recognized as a bone-strengthening beverage, especially for its rich calcium content. Calcium is a very important mineral that helps in maintaining and strengthening the bone formation and structure. With the added benefits of other minerals and vitamins, which I have talked about earlier in the article, we can cite milk as a great choice for overall body and bone health.

I am Ananya, currently a student of master's. I'm passionate about living a healthy and active lifestyle. Fitness isn't just a hobby for me; it's a way of life. I believe in the transformative power of exercise and nutrition to not…

1 Comment

  1. Avatar Ranjana Biswas says:

    We all have been asked since childhood to drink lots of milk to make ourselves stronger, and the answer lies here only. Milk is very good and nutritious for us.

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