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Here's another reason to eat more yoghurt

Netdoctor logo Netdoctor 19/05/2017 Jenny Cook

Yoghurt could increase bone density and reduce osteoporosis risk, study shows © Maximilian Stock Ltd. / Getty Yoghurt could increase bone density and reduce osteoporosis risk, study shows Yoghurt is known to be a good source of calcium, protein and numerous essential vitamins, so perhaps it comes as no surprise that a new study has linked this simple ingredient to improved bone health. 

Research conducted at Trinity College Dublin has concluded that a higher yoghurt consumption leads to increased bone density and a reduced risk of osteoporosis – a disease which leads to the weakening of bones, leaving them more likely to break.

The findings

Scientists tracked 4,310 Irish adults aged 60 and over, using questionnaires to collect information about their diet and lifestyles. Each participant also had their physical ability, bone density and joint deterioration measured, the latter two using X-ray and M.R.I equipment.

It was found that regular yoghurt eaters had a 3-4% increase in bone mineral density compared with non-yoghurt eaters, with men and women showing a 39% and 52% lower risk of osteoporosis respectively. Yoghurt-eating participants also performed better on physical fitness tests. Lead author Eamon J. Laird, a research fellow at Trinity College Dublin, said:

"The data suggest that improving yogurt intakes could be a strategy for maintaining bone health but it needs verification through future research as it is observational."

He added: "The main message is that yogurt is a good source of micronutrients, vitamin D, B vitamins, and calcium - and of protein and probiotics as well. We think it could be a combination of these things that has the beneficial effect."

Dr Laird also noted that the study was observational, meaning that it could not prove cause and effect. The researchers did, however, take into account external factors such as age, physical activity, smoking, alcohol consumption and other health and behavioral characteristics, and made any relevant adjustments.

An important thing to remember with yoghurts is that a lot of them can be loaded with sugar and other unnatural sweeteners, so always check the label!

The study was published in Osteoporosis International.

Related: Delicious mango frozen yoghurt recipe (Provided by Rumble)

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