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The impact of dairy diet on reducing fractures in the elderly

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A study published in the British Medical Journal showed that the addition of dairy foods into the daily diet of aged-care residents exert a great deal of influence on reducing fractures and falls.


A two-year trial was conducted by researchers of the University of Melbourne and Austin Health, including 7195 aged-care residents. The study was the first one to investigate the impact of consuming dairy foods that includes additional nutrition like calcium and protein, on the risk of falls and fractures in the elderly.
The more people age, the more is the possibility of an increased prevalence of malnutrition, chronic illnesses, loss of musculoskeletal mass, bone fragility which in turn increases the risk of falls and fractures, leading to ongoing disability and premature death. The aged-care residents account for about 30 percent of all hip fractures, and around two-thirds of them are malnourished or at risk of malnutrition.
While consuming dairy foods in the elderly population is usually less than half the amount recommended in the Australian Dietary Guidelines, previous clinical trials have adopted a pharmacological approach through which residents have their diet improved with vitamin D or calcium tablets to decrease bone loss.
The international team of collaborators together with the principal investigator of the University of Melbourne and Austin Health, Sandra Iuliano, added dairy foods that are naturally high in protein and calcium to the daily diets of aged-care residents. Increasing dairy food intake from approximately 2 serves per day to 3.5 serves per day, was an investigation that led to a significant reduction in fractures and falls.
A reduction of 33 percent in all fractures, 46 percent in hip fractures, and 11 percent in falls were found in the study, with a significant reduction apparent between three and five months after the trial started.
Dr. Iuliano said: “To provide sufficient dairy foods in the elderly’s diets is a simple intervention that is proven and also a practical approach to reducing the fracture rate in the elderly.”
Dairy Australia nutritionist Rivkeh Haryono said the outcomes of the clinical trial were clear and, reconfirmed that consuming sufficient levels of dairy in the elderly resulted in improving bone and muscle health.

Reference:
https://www.dairynewsaustralia.com.au/news/2021/11/02/5510532/dairy-diet-reduces-fractures-in-elderly

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