Bone health

Peer-Reviewed Scientific Articles​

The Effect of Low-Carbohydrate and Low-Fat Diets on Pain in Individuals with Knee Osteoarthritis


Journal: Pain Medicine

Publication Date: 01/2020

Summary: Osteoarthritis is the most prominent form of arthritis, affecting approximately 15% of the population in the United States. Knee osteoarthritis (KOA) has become one of the leading causes of disability in older adults. Besides knee replacement, there are no curative treatments for KOA, so persistent pain is commonly treated with opioids, acetaminophen, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. However, these drugs have many unpleasant side effects, so there is a need for alternative forms of pain management. We sought to test the efficacy of a dietary intervention to reduce KOA. A randomized controlled pilot study to test the efficacy of two dietary interventions. Subjects. Adults 65–75 years of age with KOA. Participants were asked to follow one of two dietary interventions (low-carbohydrate [LCD], low-fat [LFD]) or continue to eat as usual (control [CTRL]) over 12 weeks. Functional pain, self-reported pain, quality of life, and depression were assessed every three weeks. Serum from before and after the diet intervention was analyzed for oxidative stress. Over a period of 12 weeks, the LCD reduced pain intensity and unpleasantness in some functional pain tasks, as well as self-reported pain, compared with the LFD and CTRL. The LCD also significantly reduced oxidative stress and the adipokine leptin compared with the LFD and CTRL. Reduction in oxidative stress was related to reduced functional pain. We present evidence suggesting that oxidative stress may be related to functional pain, and lowering it through our LCD intervention could provide relief from pain and be an opioid alternative.

Key Takeaways

A low carbohydrate diet may be an alternative to pain medication in those with osteoarthritis. The low carb diet was shown to reduce oxidative stress, functional pain, and self reported pain by the individuals in this study.

Drop The Pain Pills, Eat a Low Carb Diet to Reduce Arthritis Pain

Veganism, vegetarianism, bone mineral density, and fracture risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis


Journal: Nutrition Reviews

Publication Date: 10/2018

Summary: The numbers of vegans and vegetarians have increased in the last decades. However, the impact of these diets on bone health is still under debate. This systematic review and meta-analysis sought to study the impact of vegetarian and vegan diets on bone mineral density (BMD) and fracture risk. A systematic search was conducted of PubMed, Scopus, and Science Direct, covering the period from the respective start date of each database to November 2017. Two investigators evaluated 275 studies against the inclusion criteria (original studies in humans, written in English or Spanish and including vegetarian or vegan diets and omnivorous diets as factors with BMD values for the whole body, lumbar spine, or femoral neck and/or the number of fractures as the outcome) and exclusion criteria (articles that did not include imaging or studies that included participants who had suffered a fracture before starting the vegetarian or vegan diet). The quality assessment tool for observational cohort and cross-sectional studies was used to assess the quality of the studies. Twenty studies including 37 134 participants met the inclusion criteria. Compared with omnivores, vegetarians and vegans had lower BMD at the femoral neck and lumbar spine and vegans also had higher fracture rates. Vegetarian and vegan diets should be planned to avoid negative consequences on bone health.

Key Takeaways

An aggregation of 275 studies with 37134 total participants showed vegetarians and vegans have lower bone mineral density than omnivores. Vegans also had higher rates of fractures than vegetarians and omnivores.

Veganism Leads to Frailty and Fractures

The Effects of a High-Protein Diet on Bone Mineral Density in Exercise-Trained Women: A 1-Year Investigation


Journal: Journal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology

 Publication Date: 12/2018

 Summary: Exercise-trained female subjects that consume a diet that is approximately three times greater than the RDA for protein experience no harmful effects on bone mineral density or content. Nor were there any harmful effects on renal function.

Key Takeaways

In female subjects who exercised regularly, high protein diets that are 3x the recommended daily value did not negatively affect the bones or kidney function.

High Protein Diets Will Hurt My Kidneys Right? Wrong!

The Association Between Protein Intake by Source and Osteoporotic Fracture in Older Men: A Prospective Cohort Study


Journal: Journal of Bone and Mineral Research

Publication Date: 12/2016

Summary: Men with high protein intake (particularly high animal protein intake) as a percentage of TEI have a lower risk of major osteoporotic fracture

Key Takeaways

High animal protein in the diet keeps bone density strong and prevents the risk of fractures with age in men

Why Elderly Should Increase Meat Consumption

Protective effect of high protein and calcium intake on the risk of hip fracture in the Framingham offspring cohort


Journal: Journal of Bone and Mineral Research

Publication Date: 12/2010

Summary: Middle-aged men and women show higher animal protein intake coupled with calcium intake of 800 mg/day or more may protect against hip fracture, whereas the effect appears reversed for those with lower calcium intake

Key Takeaways

An animal based high protein diet combined with increased calcium intake is protective against hip fractures.

Worried About Falls And Fractures? Eat Meat and Dairy

Acid diet (high-meat protein) effects on calcium metabolism and bone health


Journal: Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care

Publication Date: 11/2010

Summary: Review of the effects of high meat protein diet on calcium metabolism and bone health. Long term high protein intake increases bone mineral density and reduces fractures.

Key Takeaways

High meat protein diets can increase bone strength and reduce fractures.

Eat Meat To Keep Your Bones Strong And Prevent Fractures

Acid diet (high-meat protein) effects on calcium metabolism and bone health


Journal: Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care

Publication Date: 01/2010

Summary: On the basis of recent findings, consuming protein (including that from meat) higher than current Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein is beneficial to calcium utilization and bone health, especially in the elderly. A high-protein diet with adequate calcium and fruits and vegetables is important for bone health and osteoporosis prevention.

Key Takeaways

High protein diets with calcium, fruits and vegetables can prevent bone deterioration and osteoporosis.

Weak Bones? Try Increasing Protein Consumption

Veganism and osteoporosis: A review of the current literature


Journal: International Journal of Nursing Practice

Publication Date: 10/2006

Summary: Review of the effects of a vegan diet on calcium, vitamin D and bone mineral density. Vegans have lower bone mineral density than non-Vegans. Evidence on calcium, vitamin D levels and fracture incidence was inconclusive

Key Takeaways

Vegans have lower bone mineral density that non-vegans

Veganism: The Perfect Way to Get Weak Bones

Meat and soy protein affect calcium homeostasis in healthy women


Journal: The Journal of Nutrition

 Publication Date: 07/2006

 Summary: These data indicate that when soy protein is substituted for meat protein, there is an acute decline in dietary calcium bioavailability.

Key Takeaways

Soy protein, typically used as an alternative protein source by vegans and vegetarians, has less bioavailable calcium than traditional meat products.

Why Soy Protein Is NOT an Adequate Substitute For Meat Protein

Dietary protein, calcium metabolism, and skeletal homeostasis revisited


Journal: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Publication Date: 09/2003

Summary: Dietary protein intakes at and below 0.8 g/kg were associated with a probable reduction in intestinal calcium absorption sufficient to cause secondary hyperparathyroidism. The long-term consequences of these low-protein diet–induced changes in mineral metabolism are not known, but the diet could be detrimental to skeletal health. Of concern are several recent epidemiologic studies that demonstrate reduced bone density and increased rates of bone loss in individuals habitually consuming low-protein diets. Studies are needed to determine whether low protein intakes directly affect rates of bone resorption, bone formation, or both.

Key Takeaways

Protein intake less than .8g/kg led to decreased ability. for the intestine to absorb calcium. This decreased absorption was enough to stimulate the calcium sensing hormone parathyroid hormone. Parathyroid hormone acts to increase calcium levels by multiple mechanisms, but one of these is the leeching of stored calcium in the bones. Low protein diets may be associated with poor bone health due to loss of calcium.

Could Low Protein Diets Cause Demineralization of Your Bones?

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