Laird E; Molloy AM; McNulty H; WARD M; McCarroll K; Hoey L; Hughes CF; Cunningham C; Strain JJ; Casey MC. - - Osteoporos Int 2017; in press

Greater yogurt consumption is associated with increased bone mineral density and physical function in older adults

In this cohort of community dwelling older adults (>60 years), we observed significant positive associations between the frequencies of yogurt intake with measures of bone density, bone biomarkers, and indicators of physical function. Improving yogurt intakes could be a valuable health strategy for maintaining bone health in older adults.

INTRODUCTION: The associations of yogurt intakes with bone health and frailty in older adults are not well documented. The aim was to investigate the association of yogurt intakes with bone mineral density (BMD), bone biomarkers, and physical function in 4310 Irish adults from the Trinity, Ulster, Department of Agriculture aging cohort study (TUDA).

METHODS: Bone measures included total hip, femoral neck, and vertebral BMD with bone biochemical markers. Physical function measures included Timed Up and Go (TUG), Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scale, and Physical Self-Maintenance Scale.

RESULTS: Total hip and femoral neck BMD in females were 3.1-3.9% higher among those with the highest yogurt intakes (n = 970) compared to the lowest (n = 1109; P < 0.05) as were the TUG scores (-6.7%; P = 0.013). In males, tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP 5b) concentrations were significantly lower in those with the highest yogurt intakes (-9.5%; P < 0.0001). In females, yogurt intake was a significant positive predictor of BMD at all regions. Each unit increase in yogurt intake in females was associated with a 31% lower risk of osteopenia (OR 0.69; 95% CI 0.49-0.96; P = 0.032) and a 39% lower risk of osteoporosis (OR 0.61; 95% CI 0.42-0.89; P = 0.012) and in males, a 52% lower risk of osteoporosis (OR 0.48; 95% CI 0.24-0.96; P = 0.038).

CONCLUSION: In this cohort, higher yogurt intake was associated with increased BMD and physical function scores. These results suggest that improving yogurt intakes could be a valuable public health strategy for maintaining bone health in older adults.

Keywords: Aging BMD Frailty Physical function Yogurt