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Dairy-free diets a 'ticking time bomb' for bone health, warns charity

13/04/2017

Dairy-free diets a 'ticking time bomb' for bone health, warns charity

There are all sorts of diets out there, but a certain type in particular could be a "ticking time bomb" for young people's bone health, according to a leading charity in the UK.


Dairy-free diets, which see the amount of dairy consumed significantly reduced or cut out completely, says the National Osteoporosis Society, are putting people's health at risk. That's because milk and other dairy products are important sources of calcium, which boosts bone strength.


A survey by the charity found that a fifth of under-25s are cutting out or reducing dairy in their diet. Furthermore, its findings suggest many young people are seeking and following dietary advice they find online.


While some of this advice can be good, the charity warns that some individuals are restricting what they eat too much.


Prof Susan Lanham-New, head of nutritional sciences at the University of Surrey and clinical advisor to the National Osteoporosis Society, said: "Diet in early adulthood is so important because by the time we get into our late 20s it is too late to reverse the damage caused by poor diet and nutrient deficiencies and the opportunity to build strong bones has passed."


In the UK, the Department of Health recommends 700mg of calcium a day for adults and pregnant women, but that increases to 1,000mg a day for boys and girls between 11 and 18.


Calcium is the most abundant mineral found in the human body and helps to regulate metabolism, promote healthy bones and teeth, controls muscle contraction and blood clotting, and transmits information via the nervous system.


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