According to the Cleveland Clinic, more than 300,000 Americans fracture a hip every year. As you're probably aware, it's an injury that can seriously put you out of commission. Fortunately, a study just out this weekend delivers hopeful news: You can greatly reduce your risk of a hip fracture just by making sure you're getting enough of two important nutrients.
Thursday in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), a group of American, Australian, and Dutch researchers published an encouraging study. As specialists in physiology, nutrition, public health, and endocrinology (hormones), the team sought to understand the role calcium and protein play in strengthening the bones of older people, even if these individuals were already working on their bone strength by consuming a sufficient amount of vitamin D.
The researchers collected two years' worth of data based on the dietary patterns of 7,195 male and female seniors in nearly 60 Australian residential care facilities. Half of those facilities supplied to their residents "additional" amounts of milk, yogurt, and cheese. To understand these calcium and protein amounts very simply, the control group received approximately two servings of dairy per day, while the experimental group received 3.5 servings.
The researchers report that throughout the course of the study, 4,302 falls took place, resulting in a reported 324 fractures, and 135 hip fractures.
Interestingly, the researchers conclude that the additional amounts of calcium and protein "was associated with a 33% reduction in risk of fractures of any type, a 46% reduction in risk of hip fractures, and an 11% reduction in risk of falls" when compared to the control group.
This study may be another reminder of the importance of a healthy, balanced diet at every age—and, if your healthcare provider advises it, the benefit of taking the right diet supplements and vitamins.
For more on this, sign up for our newsletter and keep reading: