Drink-a-pint-of-milk-a-day has been standard health advice for years, especially for children and post-menopausal women. But a new study has found that drinking too much milk actually increases the chances of a fracture, and may even lead to premature death.
The recommended daily amount is one pint, but those drinking three pints or more of milk are twice as likely to die an early death compared to those drinking little or no milk.
And the idea that the calcium in milk protects against fracture is also questioned by researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden, who tracked the health of 61,000 women and 45,000 men for 20 years. In one group of women, those drinking the most milk also suffered the most fractures.
The researchers say that milk is not the healthiest source of calcium because its fat content cancels out any positive effects of calcium, and instead causes inflammation and increases the risk of heart attack.
A serving of sardines or whitebait or tofu deliver more calcium than a glass of milk, and is a healthier option.
(Source: British Medical Journal, 2014; 349: g6015)