Calcium supports strong bones. Calcium can help prevent bone loss and osteoporosis. Since childhood we’ve learned about the importance of bone health, which can contribute to one’s joint health. Naturally, dairy products are most associated with calcium, and while a recommended daily allowance of milk, yogurt, or cheese may contribute to the well-being of one’s skeletal system, it may also be possible that consumption of these foods cause problems.
According to the Arthitis Foundation, making a clear connection to dairy consumption and joint inflammation is a challenge. This is because many dairy products are also high in saturated fats, which have also been known to contribute to aches and pains. Various foods fall under the dairy category as well – everything from hard cheeses to Greek yogurt, which is suggested to help decrease inflammation and promote good digestion due to its probiotics. Ultimately, the question of dairy’s effects on joint pain is best determined by the individual.
The Office of Dietary Supplements at the National Insitutes of Health recommends 1,000 mg of calcium daily for adult men and women up to age 50, and 1,200 mg for women after 50 and men after 70. Pre-teens and teenagers should get more – 1,300 mg between the ages of 9 and 18. If dairy products are an issue, there are other ways to get the daily recommended allowance, with or without supplements.
Foods such as tofu, spinach, beans and lentils, and certain nut butters are good alternatives for dairy if you need more calcium and have digestion and allergy issues with milk, cheese and other products. Be mindful of nutritional labels and portions, and take queues from your joints if you experience further discomfort.
For questions about managing bone health and joint pain, and orthopaedic specialist at Bon Secours Virginia Orthopaedic and Spine Specialists can help. Our team of experts help patients manage joint pain, whether due to illness or injury, and resume active lifestyles. For more information on our therapies, contact us.