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Milk does a body good

In Health & Lifestyles on August 18, 2010 at 5:22 pm

Calcium can prolong more than just the density of your bones, it can prolong your life. Photo courtesy of Google images

For years, everyone thought that milk was just to help build strong bones. Well, new studies have been conducted that prove milk and other sources of calcium can prolong your life.

Researchers at the Karolinski Institute of Stockholm did a follow-up analysis nine years after an earlier experiment done on the eating habits of Swedish men. The scientists ruled that the people who consumed the most calcium had a 25 percent lower risk of death than the people who consumed lesser amounts of calcium. The group of people who had 1,953 milligrams of calcium was labeled as the “higher-intake group,” and the people who were found with average levels of 990 milligrams of calcium were called the “lower-intake group.” 

Be careful, because the risk of developing kidney stones can get serious when you consume too much calcium. The “safe average” of daily calcium consumption is around 2,500 milligrams for all ages. It’s not necessarily more effective if you consume more than the recommended amount of calcium; in fact it can actually be dangerous.

Surveys show that most Americans today do not get the right amounts of calcium that are needed to prevent osteoporosis and other calcium-deficient diseases.  You don’t just have to drink a lot of milk in order to increase your daily intake; most of the vitamins and minerals come from foods. Dairy products are, of course, the best sources of calcium. Kale, Napa cabbage, spinach, broccoli, collards, almonds, and dried figs are other great sources. 

Before you pass up some vegetables or other dairy products, think about how long you think you want to live; then think about how long you will probably live, and that should be your deciding factor.

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