Karl Michaëlsson is professor of medical epidemiology at Uppsala University and senior consultant in orthopaedic surgery. He is also pro-dean and member of the board at the Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy at Uppsala University with a specific responsibility for research infrastructure and member of the Council for research infrastructure at Uppsala University. Moreover, Karl Michaëlsson is scientific councilor for the National Board of Health and Welfare, member of the board at the Department of Surgical Sciences, Uppsala University and chairman of the research, education and development board, Department of Orthopaedics, Uppsala University hospital. His main research interests are prevention of fractures, osteoporosis, diet, physical activity, and benefits and harms with use of vitamin D, vitamin A, calcium intake, and bone specific drugs. Karl Michaëlsson is also the scientific director for the Central Sweden Cohorts & Biobank, a national research infrastructure funded by the Swedish Research Council.
During the past decade, it has become evident that the increase of oxidative stress with aging is a fundamental pathogenetic mechanism of not only a shortened life-span but also age-related bone loss and sarcopenia, two important determinants contributing to the risk of fracture. Some foods act as pro-oxidants and other as anti-oxidants. There exists a long tradition in many countries to recommend high consumption of milk to prevent fractures in elderly people but the scientific evidence for this view is meager. Milk consumption is the main dietary source of galactose known to induce oxidative stress and shorten life span in animals, but such negative effects in animals can be counteracted by dietary antioxidant intake. Different types of dairy products may result in oxidative stress influence in diverse directions and their effects on fracture risk and longevity in humans may be modified by the intake of foods with antioxidant activity. Oxidative stress levels are also influenced by intakes of fruit and vegetables, recently shown also to be inversely related to risk of hip fracture - the most devastating fracture in older people. Sweden is one of the world’s leading nations in dairy consumption per capita and hip fracture incidence. In this presentation, I will discuss novel results regarding dairy product, fruit and vegetable intakes, fracture and mortality based on Swedish cohort analyses and compare these findings with those from other settings and meta-analyses.