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Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Jun;81(6):1423-8.

Protein consumption is an important predictor of lower limb bone mass in elderly women.

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  • 1School of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia. adevine@cyllene.uwa.edu.au

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The effect of protein intake on bone density is uncertain, and evidence exists for beneficial effects of both low and high protein intakes.

OBJECTIVE:

The objective was to study the relation between protein consumption and bone mass in elderly women with allowance for other lifestyle factors affecting bone metabolism.

DESIGN:

We conducted a cross-sectional and longitudinal study of a population-based sample of 1077 women aged 75 +/- 3 y. At baseline, protein consumption was measured with a food-frequency questionnaire, and bone mass and structure were measured by using quantitative ultrasound of the heel. One year later, hip bone mineral density (BMD) was measured by using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry.

RESULTS:

Subjects consumed a mean (+/-SD) of 80.5 +/- 27.8 g protein/d (1.19 +/- 0.44 g protein/kg body wt). Regression analysis showed a positive correlation between protein intake and qualitative ultrasound of the heel and BMD after adjustment for age, body mass index, and other nutrients. The dose-response effect was best characterized by protein consumption expressed in tertiles, such that subjects in the lowest tertile (<66 g protein/d) had significantly lower qualitative ultrasound of the heel (1.3%) and hip BMD (2.6%) than did the subjects in the higher tertiles (>87 g protein/d).

CONCLUSION:

These data suggest that protein intakes for elderly women above current recommendations may be necessary to optimize bone mass.

PMID:
15941897
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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