Vegetarian diets may increase the risk of fracture – recent evidence review

vegetarian bone health, vegan bones, bone mineral density, diet, osteoporosis diet, meat health, arthritis dietVegetarian diets – particularly vegan – are associated with lower bone mineral density values and could heighten the risk of fractures, says an evidence review in Aging Clinical and Experimental Research.

There is a current drive to prevent obesity and the many chronic medical conditions linked to it by promoting a healthy lifestyle. Measures include reducing dietary calorie intake via calorie restriction and intermittent fasting or opting for vegetarian or vegan diets.

While these regimens are usually considered healthy, their impact on bone health has yet to be established, and some studies suggest they have negative effects on our bones.

Experts looking at the evidence found only small studies have been done so far. But the research that exists suggests that:

  • Calorie restriction reduces bone mineral density
  • Intermittent fasting does not reduce bone mineral density
  • Vegetarian diets (particularly vegan ones) are associated with lower bone mineral density values compared to diets that include plants and animals, and could increase the risk of fractures.

“Given these considerations, individuals who decide to follow these diets should be aware of the risk of osteoporosis and of bone fractures and should introduce dietary sources of calcium and Vitamin D and/or supplementation,” the team explains. “Future studies examining fracture/osteoporosis incidence in selected populations will be able expand our knowledge about the safety of these diets and the risks linked to them.”

Click here to read the original findings.

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