One of the signposts of getting older is our bones losing bone mass.
Our bones become lighter, thinner, and more brittle.
But is this inevitable?
In this an important study.
The researchers took average adults who were eating less than 1 1/2 servings a day of dairy products.
Then they gave these adults some simple instructions.
They were told to drink three servings a day of either nonfat or 1% fat milk.
Here’s what happened next.
Calcium intake increased by 729 mg/day/day, serum parathyroid hormone level decreased by approximately 9%, and urinary excretion of N-telopeptide, a bone resorption marker, decreased by 13%
Let’s look at this carefully.
Milk contains a lot of calcium.
So their calcium intake increased a lot.
Most people have too much phosphorus in their diet, and not enough calcium.
This high phosphorus increases parathyroid hormone.
Parathyroid hormone is something that you want to get lower if possible.
It can cause all kinds of problems in the body.
It pulls calcium out of your bones and depositing it in your soft tissue.
Many people have atherosclerosis, where they have a build up of calcium in their arteries.
This is probably from chronically high phosphorus levels in their diet.
This results in parathyroid hormone pulling calcium out of their bones.
By drinking milk, you increase your calcium levels.
Higher calcium levels bring the parathyroid hormone levels down.
And no you don’t just pee out the calcium.
There is a myth that’s been going around about milk and calcium.
The idea is that it doesn’t help to drink a lot of milk even though it contains a lot of calcium.
Supposedly, any calcium that isn’t used quickly enough is just peed out in your urine.
This study shows that this is not true.
Most of the calcium was retained.
It contributed to growth and improvement of the bones.
And here is great news about blood pressure.
It turns out that increasing your calcium levels can dramatically lower blood pressure.
This is not that surprising, as high parathyroid hormone levels often correspond a higher blood pressure for various reasons.
In this study they had volunteers consume 1 quart of milk.
Researchers compared it to other dairy products such as yogurt, and nondairy orange juice.
Then they measured their blood pressure over a period of time.
Systolic blood pressure responded dramatically to calcium supplementation and continued lower than on orange juice at 6 months, 120 to 115.
That’s a very dramatic lowering of blood pressure.
It probably could’ve been a lot better if they had also provided supplemental magnesium.
So many people are low in magnesium.
With extra magnesium as well as extra calcium, both systolic and diastolic blood pressure probably would’ve followed considerably more.
These are many of the good reasons to start consuming more healthy dairy products.
Lower blood pressure and stronger bones are great reasons.
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