Nutrition

Got Milk? Well, Maybe You Shouldn’t

milk increases bone fracture risk

<em>Dear Mr. Dad: My husband fancies himself something of a nutrition expert and has been insisting that everyone in our family—that’s him, our two sons, a daughter, and I—drink three glasses of milk every day. He says we need the calcium and protein. But I’ve been reading lately that milk might not be quite as important as all that. Who’s right?</em>

<strong>A:</strong> I hate to take a stand against something as wholesome as milk, but the truth is that you’re right. Let’s start with calcium, which we’re told is essential for building and maintaining healthy bones. In general terms, that’s true. However, in order for the calcium we get through milk to be properly absorbed and to make its way to our bones, we also need to consume the right amount of vitamin D and magnesium, and to a lesser extent, vitamin K. In fact, calcium by itself—which is usually the way it shows up in milk—might be worthless. Actually, less than worthless: it might even be causing some serious health problems.

When the ratio of calcium to those other nutrients gets out of whack (and it almost always is) and we end up consuming a disproportionate amount of calcium, the risk of developing kidney stones increases. So does the risk of stroke and heart disease. For your husband and sons, the risk of prostate cancer increases as well. And in one of nature’s little ironies, according to some studies, too much calcium may increase—rather than decrease—the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures. We’ll get back to that in a minute.

 

Read the rest of this article on Armin’s blog.

Author: Armin Brott

Armin Brott is the proud father of three, a former U.S. Marine, a best-selling author, radio host, speaker, and one of the country’s leading experts on fatherhood. He writes frequently about fatherhood, families, and men’s health. Read more about Armin or visit his website, mrdad.com. You can also connect via social media: Facebook.com/mrdad, @mrdad, pinterest.com/mrdad, linkedin.com/in/mrdad, plus.google.com/+mrdad.

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