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Am J Clin Nutr. 1989 Sep;50(3):517-23.

Bone mineral content in postmenopausal women: comparison of omnivores and vegetarians.

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  • 1Nutritional Sciences Division, School of Public Health, UCLA 90024.


This cross-sectional study of bone mineral content (BMC)/bone width (BW) (BMC/BW, cortical radius) was conducted in elderly, free-living Methodist omnivores (n = 146) and Seventh-day Adventist vegetarians (n = 144) in southern California. The purpose was to investigate relationships between BMC/BW and dietary factors (primarily vegetarianism and intakes of protein and calcium) and use of prescribed drugs. BMC was measured by single-photon absorptiometry. Dietary intakes during current and early periods of life were assessed by 24-h dietary recall and frequency methods. Information about drug use was obtained by interview. BMC/BW was not different in omnivores vs vegetarians. There were no significant relationships or trends between current or early dietary intakes and BMC/BW in either group. In multiple-regression analysis, age, weight, and use of estrogen and thiazide diuretics were predictive of 31% of the variability in BMC/BW in the total group.

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