Recommendations for daily calcium intake from dairy products are variable and based on local consensus. To investigate whether patients with a recent fracture complied with these recommendations, we quantified the daily dairy calcium intake including milk, milk drinks, pudding, yoghurt, and cheese in a Dutch cohort of fracture patients and compared outcomes with recent data of a healthy U.S. cohort (80% Caucasians). An observational study analyzed dairy calcium intakes of 1526 female and 372 male Dutch fracture patients older than 50. On average, participants reported three dairy servings per day, independently of age, gender or population density. Median calcium intake from dairy was 790 mg/day in females and males. Based on dairy products alone, 11.3% of women and 14.2% of men complied with Dutch recommendations for calcium intake (adults <= 70 years: 1100 mg/day and >70 years: 1200 mg/day). After including 450 mg calcium from basic nutrition, compliance raised to 60.5% and 59.1%, respectively, compared to 53.2% in the U.S. cohort. Daily dairy calcium intake is not associated with femoral neck bone mineral density (BMD) T-scores or WHO Fracture Assessment Tool (FRAX) risk scores for major fracture or hip fracture. However, when sub analyzing the male cohort, these associations were weakly negative. The prevalence of maternal hip fracture was a factor for current fracture risks, both in women and men. While daily dairy calcium intake of Dutch fracture patients was well below the recommended dietary intake, it was comparable to intakes in a healthy U.S. cohort. This questions recommendations for adding more additional dairy products to preserve adult skeletal health, particularly when sufficient additional calcium is derived from adequate non-dairy nutrition.
van Berg, P., van Haard, P. M. M., van den Bergh, J. P. W., Niesten, D. D., van der Elst, M., & Schweitzer, D. H. (2014). First Quantification of Calcium Intake from Calcium-Dense Dairy Products in Dutch Fracture Patients (The Delft Cohort Study). Nutrients, 6(6), 2404-2418. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu6062404