Worldwide incidence of hip fracture in elderly women: relation to consumption of animal and vegetable foods.

Hip fracture, a major health problem in elderly persons, varies in incidence among the populations of different countries and is directly related to animal protein intake, a finding that suggests that bone integrity is compromised by endogenous acid production consequent to the metabolism of animal proteins. If that is so, vegetable foods might provide a countervailing effect, because they are a rich source of base (bicarbonate) in the form of metabolizable organic anions, which can neutralize protein-derived acid and supply substrate (carbonate) for bone formation.

Risk of nutritional rickets among vegetarian children

Records of the dietary intake of 52 preschool vegetarian children seen from 1974 to 1976 revealed that macrobiotic vegetarian diets provided amounts of vitamin D, calcium, and phosphorus that were marginal as well as less than the amounts provided by other vegetarian diets. Vitamin D supplements were rarely given. Two subjects had roentgenographic evidence of rickets.

Cortical bone density of adult lacto-ovo-vegetarian and omnivorous women

Lacto-ovo-vegetarian women fifty to eighty-nine years of age lost 18 per cent bone mineral mass while omnivorous women lost 35 per cent. This study established that this difference could not be explained by a greater bone density in the lacto-ovo-vegetarians during the third, fourth, and fifth decades of life. The possibility of higher sulfur content in the meat-containing diet, the effect of excess phosphorus, and the effect of an acid-ash diet are discussed. From the standpoint of a general survey, comsumption of calcium-containing foods was not appreciably different in the two groups.

Bone mineral mass in adult lacto-ovo-vegetarian and omnivorous males.

Past studies indicate postmenopausal women who eat meat may experience greater bone mineral loss than lacto-ovo-vegetarian women. The present study extends those findings by comparing bone mineral in adult lacto-ovo-vegetarian and omnivorous males. Bone mineral mass was determined by direct photon absorptiometry in 320 lacto-ovo-vegetarian and 320 omnivorous males 20 to 79 yr old. Lacto-ovo-vegetarians were Seventh-day Adventists committed to their diet for at least 20 yr. Measurements were made at a cortical site along the radius.

Vitamin D deficiency rickets and vitamin B12 deficiency in vegetarian children.

During the years 1978-83 four vegetarian children have been admitted to the pediatric departments of Ullevaal and Aker Hospitals in Oslo and Haukeland Hospital, Bergen, with the diagnosis of vitamin D deficiency rickets. One had vitamin B12 deficiency as well. All had been fed a vegetarian diet with some cows' milk, but without vitamin supplementation. All had marked hypocalcemia, and three had tetany or convulsions. All responded well to conventional doses of vitamin D therapy. Two of the mothers had vitamin D deficiency, and one of them also had vitamin B12 deficiency.

Vegetarian lifestyle and bone mineral density.

The amount and type of dietary protein affect bone mineral loss after the menopause. This observation was substantiated in 10 y of studies by direct photon absorptiometry, four results of which follow. 1) Studies of 1600 women in southwestern Michigan revealed that those who had followed the lactoovovegetarian diet for at least 20 y had only 18% less bone mineral by age 80 whereas closely paired omnivores had 35% less bone mineral.

Urinary hormonal concentrations and spinal bone densities of premenopausal vegetarian and nonvegetarian women.

We evaluated the relationships among nutrition, hormone concentrations, and bone density of the spine in 27 vegetarian and 37 nonvegetarian premenopausal women. The two groups were indistinguishable with respect to age, height, weight, menarche, years of formal education, and medical histories. The frequency of menstrual irregularity was significantly higher in the vegetarian group. The bone densities of the vegetarians and the nonvegetarians were not significantly different.


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