The Calcium Challenge: Why Milk May Not Be the Best Source

Pop quiz: Name three nutrients that are critical to building strong bones. Calcium, right? Everybody gets that one. Any others? Some people get vitamin D, and they’re correct. But almost no one can come up with a third. Give up? In addition to calcium and vitamin D, healthy bones need magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and vitamin K.

As you can see, strong bones are made of quite a bit more than calcium and vitamin D. Problems start when the ratio of calcium to the other nutrients gets out of whack (and it almost always is). Too much calcium may increase our risk of developing kidney stones and arthritis, and may actually lead to an increase in the risk of developing osteoporosis and suffering bone fractures. And the biggest culprit is milk. Wait, what? Yep, as counterintuitive as that sounds, it’s true.

milk not so goodWhile milk products are high in calcium, they don’t contain enough of the other co-operating nutrients to get that calcium to the right place. Milk also contains a lot of protein, which sounds like a good thing but has its own problems. Eating a lot of animal (but not vegetable) protein–which Americans do too much of–increases bone fracture rates even further.

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Armin Brott

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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, You can also connect via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,  and Linkedin.
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