Dairy Helps More Than Bones

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Dairy Products and Health

Drinking milk helps bones and teeth grow strong. Research says dairy products may maintain your healthy smile, too.

Researchers studying calcium intake and periodontal disease have found women who consumed more calcium had a lower risk for periodontal disease. Women who consumed more than 800 milligrams of calcium each day had the healthiest teeth, while those who consumed fewer than 500 milligrams per day had a 54 percent greater risk for the periodontal disease.

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Other studies have found that people who consume more dairy products have a lower incidence of cavities. In addition, cheese may actually protect against cavities by keeping saliva less acidic.

Dairy Products Can Help Your Health in Many Ways

Research continues to show that calcium is important to everyone's health, even going beyond building strong teeth and bones.

Recent studies show calcium appears to help prevent hypertension, kidney stones, cardiovascular disease and colon cancer and may also aid in weight management. Calcium that is naturally contained in food seems to provide the greatest benefit, though research is continuing on the benefits of calcium supplements.

For maximum health, children and adults alike need three servings of calcium-rich foods every day, such as milk, yogurt and cheese. For picky eaters, flavored milks often help make it easy to meet kids' daily calcium requirements. Flavored milks contain more sugar and more calories than white milk but the rich nutritional content is the same.

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