You’ve known since you were a kid that you should drink your milk to grow big and strong. Why? Calcium helps strengthen your bones and lower your risk of fractures. After years of doctors, our mothers, and advertisements telling us this, though, research has actually begun to debunk the idea. Most recently, two new studies, published in BMJ, have shown that people who take the recommended daily dose of 1,000 to 1,200 mg of calcium (about four cups of milk or three servings of non-dairy items like almonds, oranges, and dark leafy greens) only reap a one to two percent increase in bone health—certainly not enough to claim any real benefit of calcium to our bone strength or health.
This news comes after another study in BMJ last year found that too much milk could actually hurt our bone health, as those who drank more milk had higher levels of oxidative stress, which can cause serious heart issues, and actually had a higher incidence of fractures. (Ask the Diet Doctor: Dangers of Milk.)