Contrary to popular belief, drinking large amounts of milk each day does not lower a person’s risk of bone fractures and instead may be associated with a higher rate of death, according to a new study. This is counter-intuitive to what has long been championed by some doctors and nutritionists: A diet rich in milk products can build strong bones and reduce the likelihood of fractures for those at risk for age-related bone loss.
The article stresses at the end that this is correlation, not causation. But they did say that eating yogurt or inferior curdled milk-based products such as cottage cheese did give the “positive benefits associated with milk,” without any of the excruciating bone fractures and premature death.
You do not need to eat dairy foods to get the calcium you need in your meal plan. Calcium is provided by a wide variety of foods, and in order to get 1,000 milligrams per day (the Dietary Reference Intake, or DRI for women and men 19-50 years of age), you could eat sardines, scallops or sesame seeds. There’s plant sources but being spinach and such, the vitamin K content is a concern. Lots of processed foods are calcium fortified because the food sources aren’t part of the typical diet, but the value is debatable. For more information on calcium see this page.