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Childhood and adolescent milk intake and adult bone health

International Congress Series
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.ics.2006.08.008
  • Childhood
  • Adolescence
  • Milk Intake
  • Calcium
  • Bone Mineral Density
  • Osteoporosis


Abstract The assumption that milk and calcium intakes during childhood and adolescence might affect bone health in adulthood is long standing. Two types of evidence are reviewed that address this potential association. The first is from randomized calcium and milk supplementation trials in children, which demonstrate that ≥ 1 year of supplementation with calcium or milk products results in an increase in bone mass and/or density. Some studies have found that the bone benefit persisted 1–3.5 years after supplementation ceased. Most (8 out of 10) retrospective studies of White women have found a positive relationship between recalled milk intake during childhood and adolescence and bone mass or density at some skeletal site in adulthood. Fewer studies have examined the relation between childhood and adolescent milk intake and fractures in adulthood; two studies found an association and two did not. The one study among Black women found no association between childhood and adolescent milk intake and adult bone density. Overall, there is a moderate level of evidence indicating a relationship between childhood and adolescent milk intake and adult bone health. Additional research is needed among non-Whites and males, and where fracture is used as the bone health outcome.

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