Did you know that Americans consume more cow’s milk and products per person than most populations in the world? If “milk does a body good,” you would expect that American bones would also be the strongest in the world. But they aren’t. American women aged 50 or over have one of the highest rates of hip fractures in the world.[1]

What gives?

Here’s what: An impressively strong association exists between animal protein consumption and bone fracture rate for women in different countries.[2] This study was written by researchers at Yale University School of Medicine and summarized data on protein intake and fracture rates taken from thirty-four (34) separate surveys in sixteen (16) countries that were published in twenty-nine (29) peer-reviewed research publications. All of the subjects were women aged fifty (50) or older. The conclusion was that seventy percent (70%) of the fracture rate was attributable to the consumption of animal protein.[3]

Moral of the story: If you are trying to increase your bone density and reduce your fracture risk, consume less animal protein.

[1] Frasetto LA, todd KM, Morris C, Jr., et al. “Worldwide incidence of hip fracture in elderly women: relation to consumption of animal and vegetable foods.” J. Gerontology 55 (2000): M585-M592.

[2] Abelow, BJ, Holford TR, and Insogna KL. “Cross-cultural association between dietary animal protein and hip fracture: a hypothesis.” Calcif. Tissue Int. 50 (1992): 14-18.

[3] Ibid.