Runner's World (UK)

Calcium is also stockpiled in the bones for release into the bloodstrea­m when levels fall


the mouse menu. When you eat a food containing calcium, it will be absorbed through the gut, aided by vitamin D. Then it enters the bloodstrea­m before eventually being stored in the crystals of your bones (in fact, your skeleton stores 99 per cent of the mineral within your body). Here, it has a dual function, the first being to strengthen bone matter by increasing the number of osteoblast­s you have and how effectivel­y they work. ‘It’s hard to observe how this happens in vivo [in living human bone], but in vitro [tests carried out on materials in a lab], studies show calcium causes stem cells in bone to increase production of proteins that help form new bone. Additional­ly, these stem cells also turn into osteoblast­s, increasing the number you have,’ explains Friedman.

Calcium is also stockpiled within the bones for release called hydroxyapa­tite. A tin of sardines, for instance, delivers 420mg calcium – well over half your required daily intake.

That said, downing milk with the enthusiasm you have for a free-poured G&T is not a skeleton-savvy approach. In fact, while one glass a day is associated with stronger bones, drinking three or more has actually been linked with an increased risk of bone fracture.

Why? Researcher­s are not sure. One theory is that the d-galactose – a type of sugar – found in higher quantities in milk than other dairy products, damages bones in larger doses by increasing your levels of inflammati­on and oxidative stress – an imbalance between harmful free radicals and antioxidan­ts. It’s one of the reason nutritioni­sts suggest varying your dairy sources throughout the day. •

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