Vegetarianism, bone loss, fracture and vitamin D: A longitudinal study in Asian vegans and non-vegans

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2012, 66 (1), pp. 75 - 82
Issue Date:
2012-01-01
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Background/Objectives:The effect of vegan diet on bone loss has not been studied. The aim of this study was to examine the association between veganism and bone loss in postmenopausal women.Subjects/Methods:The study was designed as a prospective longitudinal investigation with 210 women, including 105 vegans and 105 omnivores. Femoral neck (FN) bone mineral density (BMD) was measured in 2008 and 2010 by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (Hologic QDR4500). The incidence of vertebral fracture was ascertained by X-ray report. Serum levels of C-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen (ΒCTX) and N-terminal propeptide of type I procollagen (PINP) were measured by Roche Elecsys assays. Serum concentration of 25-hydroxyvitamin D and parathyroid hormone were measured by electrochemiluminescence.Results:Among the 210 women who initially participated in the study in 2008, 181 women had completed the study and 29 women were lost to follow-up. The rate of loss in FN BMD was -1.91±3.45%/year in omnivores and -0.86±3.81%/year (P=0.08) in vegans. Lower body weight, higher intakes of animal protein and lipid, and corticosteroid use were associated with greater rate of bone loss. The 2-year incidence of fracture was 5.7% (n5/88) in vegans, which was not significantly different from omnivores (5.4%, n6/93). There were no significant differences in ΒCTX and PINP between vegans and omnivores. The prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency in vegans was higher than in omnivores (73% versus 46%; P=0.0003).Conclusions:Vegan diet did not have adverse effect on bone loss and fracture. Corticosteroid use and high intakes of animal protein and animal lipid were negatively associated with bone loss. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.
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