If you’re over 3, you’ve probably been ingrained with the idea that “milk-it does a body good.” First by commercials promising to build strong bones and muscles (Seriously? Where did they ever get the idea dairy had anything to do with muscle growth??) and grow into a strapping football player. Next by indoctrination in the school systems where the concept of dairy being good for us is fully infiltrated. Personally, I’d like to know what the first person was thinking who looked at a cow’s udder and said to himself, “Hey…I think I could drink from that…”
Regardless, the data on dairy’s benefits is shockingly weak and much of the data is not supportive. Certainly dairy is not the wonderful bone builder Joe Public thinks it is. On the other hand, there is a simple compound known to support bone growth.
You guessed it–Vitamin D.
This particular study looked at whether diary, calcium or vitamin D was effective at lowering the development of stress fractures in teenage girls. Dairy and calcium had no effect. One would think that, if dairy really was good for the bones that it would at least have an impact on a stress fracture. Those with the highest intakes of vitamin D had 1/2 the risk of developing a stress fracture.
Not too shabby considering the cost, safety and myriad of other benefits that would occur with supplementation.