The review titled Association between Dairy Product Intake and Risk of Fracture among Adults: A Cohort Study from China Health and Nutrition Survey was published in the journal Nutrients.
“Dairy product intake is much lower in China than in America and European countries and is below the recommendation of the Chinese Dietary Guideline in 2016 for adults (300g daily), which causes an insufficient intake of multiple nutrients, such as calcium and protein.
“Based on different intake statuses of nutrients, such as calcium and protein, between populations in China and other countries, we hypothesised that the effect of dairy products on bone health in China may be very different from that in countries.
“Nevertheless, the effect of dairy products on fracture among Chinese adults and the mediation of height and BMI on the effect is unknown,” said the researchers.
To address these gaps, the study aimed to investigate the effect of dairy product intake on fracture incidence among Chinese adults and the mediation effect of height and BMI on the association between dairy product intake and the risk of fracture.
The study collected data from 1997 to 2015 from the China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS), whereas occurrences of fracture were obtained by self-report of participants. A total of 14,711 participants (6,884 men and 7,827 women), with a median age of 42, were analysed in this review.
The findings were categorised into several themes, such as participant background and the association between dairy product intake and fracture risk.
The individuals who consume from 0.1 to more than 100g of dairy daily tend to be older, female, less educated, physically active, live in eastern regions and have higher individual annual incomes.
For the association between dairy product intake and fracture risk, a total of 505 fractures occurred in 147,709 person-years. The incidences of fracture among participants were also reduced with higher intake.
The researchers also found that height strengthened the link between dairy intake and reduced fracture risk in men, but there was no such link for women.
Upon further analysis, the insufficient intake of micronutrients is still common in China.
For example, another review showed that the average dietary calcium intake was under 400mg daily in Chinese adults, far lesser than in other countries. The benefit of dairy product intake might be especially obvious in poor calcium intake countries.
In conclusion, this nation-representative and prospective study suggests that a dairy product intake of 0.1 to 100 g daily is associated with a lower risk of fracture. Additionally, the association is mainly a direct result of nutrients in dairy products – much less a result of the mediation effects of height or BMI.
The recommended intake above might be a cost-effective measure for Chinese adults based on the results.
“Further RCTs need to be conducted to verify our conclusions and determine the optimal amount of dairy product intake among Chinese adults,” concluded the researchers.
Data used in the study were extracted from the China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS) project, which several organisations funded.
“Association between Dairy Product Intake and Risk of Fracture among Adults: A Cohort Study from China Health and Nutrition Survey”
Authors: Na Xiaona et al