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Last updateWed, 09 Mar 2022 4am

Effects of vegetarian diet on bone mineral density

Tzyy‑Ling Chuanga,b, Chun‑Hung Linc, Yuh‑Feng Wanga,b,d*

aDepartment of Nuclear Medicine, Dalin Tzu Chi Hospital, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, Chiayi, Taiwan, bSchool of Medicine, Tzu Chi University, Hualien, Taiwan, cDepartment of General Surgery, Dalin Tzu Chi Hospital, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, Chiayi, Taiwan, dCenter of Preventive Medicine, Dalin Tzu Chi Hospital, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, Chiayi, Taiwan
 

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Open Access funded by Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation

 

Abstract
 
Factors, such as hormonal changes in postmenopausal women, natural aging degeneration, race, gender, body size, lifestyle, physical activity, sunlight, dietary intake, medications, or other environmental issues, can affect the rate of bone formation or reabsorption, cause changes in bone mineral content, and influence the development of osteoporosis. Do vegetarian diets adversely affect bone mineral density (BMD)? Among postmenopausal Buddhists, long‑term practitioners of vegan vegetarian were found to have a higher risk exceeding the lumbar fracture threshold and a lower level of hip BMD after controlling for other variables. However, results of several prospective longitudinal studies failed to show a harmful effect of vegetarianism on bone health. In the Taiwanese adult population, researchers also did not find that a vegetarian diet significantly affects age‑related BMD decline. Due to the various levels of nutrients in the diet (such as protein, alkali, calcium, Vitamin K, and phytoestrogens) and major lifestyle factors (such as smoking and physical exercise), determining the impact of a vegetarian diet on bone health is very complex. Good‑quality vegetarian food can provide a healthy foundation for building and maintaining healthy bones and preventing fractures.

 

Keywords: Bone mineral density, Nonvegetarian, Omnivore, Vegetarian

 

 

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