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Nutrients. 2015 May 11;7(5):3416-26. doi: 10.3390/nu7053416.

Comparison of correlates of bone mineral density in individuals adhering to lacto-ovo, vegan, or omnivore diets: a cross-sectional investigation.

Author information

1
School of Nutrition and Health Promotion, Arizona State University, 500 N. 3rd Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA. jessica.knurick@asu.edu.
2
School of Nutrition and Health Promotion, Arizona State University, 500 N. 3rd Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA. carol.johnstona@asu.edu.
3
Department of Medicine, University of Colorado, 12631 East 17th Avenue, Aurora, CO 80045, USA. sarah.wherry@ucdenver.edu.
4
The University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix, 550 E. Van Buren St., Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA. iaguayo@email.arizona.edu.

Abstract

Vegetarian diets are associated with factors that may not support bone health, such as low body mass and low intakes of protein; yet, these diets are alkaline, a factor that favors bone mineral density (BMD). This study compared the correlates of BMD in young, non-obese adults consuming meat-based (n = 27), lacto-ovo vegetarian (n = 27), or vegan (n = 28) diets for ≥1 year. A 24 h diet recall, whole body DXA scan, 24 h urine specimen, and fasting blood sample were collected from participants. BMD did not differ significantly between groups. Protein intake was reduced ~30% in individuals consuming lacto-ovo and vegan diets as compared to those consuming meat-based diets (68 ± 24, 69 ± 29, and 97 ± 47 g/day respectively, p = 0.006); yet dietary protein was only associated with BMD for those following vegan diets. Urinary pH was more alkaline in the lacto-ovo and vegan groups versus omnivores (6.5 ± 0.4, 6.7 ± 0.4, and 6.2 ± 0.4 respectively, p = 0.003); yet urinary pH was associated with BMD in omnivores only. These data suggest that plant-based diets are not detrimental to bone in young adults. Moreover, diet prescriptions for bone health may vary among diet groups: increased fruit and vegetable intake for individuals with high meat intakes and increased plant protein intake for individuals who follow a vegetarian diet plan.

KEYWORDS:

acid-base balance; bone mineral density; protein; vegan; vegetarian

PMID:
25970147
PMCID:
PMC4446759
DOI:
10.3390/nu7053416
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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