Author: Winston Craig, MPH, PhD, RD.
- Fruit and vegetables may produce better bones. Bone size of early pubertal girls (8-12 yrs age) was greater, and their urinary calcium losses were less, in those girls consuming 3 or more servings of fruit and vegetables, compared with those reporting smaller intakes.
- Low dietary vitamin K intake has been associated with an increased risk of hip fracture. Now researchers at Tufts University have found that a low vitamin K intake (70 mcg/day) is associated with a 4% lower bone mineral density in the hip and spine of women (but not men) compared to those with a high vitamin K intake (310 mcg/day).
- Research conducted at Harvard found that adequate vitamin D intake (12.5 micrograms/day or more) was associated with a 37% lower risk of hip fracture in postmenopausal women compared with women who consumed low amounts (<3.5 mcg/day). Neither milk consumption nor a high-calcium diet (over 1200 mg calcium/day) appeared to lower the risk of hip fracture. Vitamin D-fortified foods or supplementation would be a necessity for those living in areas of low sunshine exposure.
- Over a period of three months, the addition of 3.5 ounces/day of dried plums to the diets of postmenopausal women, who were not on replacement therapy, significantly increased serum levels of insulin-like growth factor-1 and bone-specific alkaline phosphatase activity. Higher levels of these substances are associated with greater rates of bone formation.
- Recent research revealed that elderly women who consumed protein that was predominantly from an animal source had a more rapid thigh bone loss than those who consumed mostly plant protein. Women with a high intake of animal protein had nearly four times the risk of hip fracture compared with those consuming protein from mostly plant sources.
- Elderly men and women with the highest intake of vitamin K had a 65% lower risk of hip fracture than those with the lowest vitamin K intake. The major source of vitamin K is green, leafy vegetables.