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Calcif Tissue Int. 2014 Jun;94(6):648-58. doi: 10.1007/s00223-014-9848-5. Epub 2014 Apr 1.

Major nutrient patterns and bone mineral density among postmenopausal Iranian women.

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  • 1National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute (WHO Collaborating Center), Faculty of Nutrition Sciences and Food Technology, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Our understanding of the influence of overall nutrient intake on bone mineral density (BMD) is limited because most studies to date have focused on the intakes of calcium, vitamin D, or a few isolated nutrients. Therefore, we examined the association of major nutrient patterns with BMD in a sample of postmenopausal Iranian women. In this cross-sectional study, 160 women aged 50-85 years were studied and their lumbar spine and femoral neck BMDs were measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Dietary intakes were assessed using a validated 168-item food frequency questionnaire, and daily intakes of 30 nutrients were calculated. All nutrient intakes were energy adjusted by the residual method and were submitted to principal component factor analysis to identify major nutrient patterns. Overall, three major nutrient patterns were identified, among which only the first pattern, which was high in folate, total fiber, vitamin B6, potassium, vitamin A (as retinol activity equivalent), vitamin C, β-carotene, vitamin K, magnesium, copper, and manganese, had a significant association with BMD. After controlling for potential confounders, multivariate adjusted mean of the lumbar spine BMD of women in the highest tertile of the first pattern scores was significantly higher than those in the lowest tertile (mean difference 0.08; 95% confidence interval 0.02-0.15; P = 0.01). A nutrient pattern similar to pattern 1, which is associated with high intakes of fruits and vegetables, may be beneficial for bone health in postmenopausal Iranian women.

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