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

A. Devine, Ian Dick, A.F.M. Islam, S.S. Dhaliwal, Richard Prince

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83 Citations (Scopus)


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 (87 g protein/d).CONCLUSION:: These data suggest that protein intakes for elderly women above current recommendations may be necessary to optimize bone mass.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1423-1428
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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