The British Medical Journal has recently reported that milk may not be a useful source of calcium.The editorial shows that there is not as much evidence to suggest drinking milk helps to build strong bones as has been previously thought.This review also draws attention to the fact that populations consuming the most cows milk and other dairy products may have among the highest rates of osteoporosis and hip fracture in later life, showing that the link between calcium and strong bones with milk is tenuous.It is not that milk does not contain calcium, it is that it may not be as useful to human beings as we think.
The fact is that there are actually many great ways to get calcium in the diet.Tofu is one of the highest sources of calcium with 304 mg.If you aren’t a great fan of tofu, increase the amount of spinach you eat, which contains 208 mg.There are so many great ways to eat spinach, including boiled, steamed, and raw (baby leaf makes a great salad).Dried figs, baked beans, chickpeas, and broccoli are other good sources of calcium.
I'm not sure the jury is in on the availability or benefit of calcium in milk. The study suggesting poor correlation between milk drinking and osteoporosis does not say that milk as a poor source of calcium -- it could say that there are other factors besides dietary calcium that affect getting osteoporosis (like being inactive, drinking coffee, and other factors). if you really wanted to know if Spinach, or tofu, are better or more effective sources of dietary calcium, you would have to compare people with different sources of calcium to each other (which would be hard to do!) .
In the mean time, I would still argue that whole milk is bad for you because of hte fat content, and that non fat milk is a pretty good source of balanced protein, and calcium.
Thank you for posting, Shez. There are a variety of opinions on this issue but what can be inferred with a solid foundation is that dietary calcium should come from many sources. Milk can be included in a healthy diet, for many reason, however, it isn't absolutely necessary. What is necessary is that each person meets the RDAs for all nutrients by eating a balanced diet.