What Role Does Calcium (and Milk) Play in Bone Health?

January 11, 2019

Bones are the central scaffolding that help support the structure of our bodies, and maintaining good bone health is essential in sustaining overall health and wellness throughout our lives. Our bones also act as a reservoir for calcium which plays a role in critical body functions. "While exercise helps to increase the strength and resilience of our bones, a well-balanced diet is necessary to provide our bodies with the minerals and nutrients required to build strong bones," explains Dr. Jack Nickless, a primary care sports medicine physician at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush. 


Here is a list of additional benefits a calcium (and milk) rich diet can provide:

  • Milk and other dairy products are excellent sources of calcium, and aid in the development of our bodies throughout childhood, as well as helping in the prevention of osteoporosis later in life.
  • Ensuring an appropriate intake of Vitamin D through diet or supplementation also assists in the absorption of calcium.
  • Calcium helps with muscle contraction, function of the heart, and operation of the central nervous system including transmission of nerve signals.  
  • Vitamin D can also be found in fortified milk and dairy products. Ask your doctor about the appropriate amount of calcium and Vitamin D intake for your age to improve your health and preserve an active and healthy lifestyle.