Critics of a low-carb diet sometimes suggest that too much protein will weaken bones. A new study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition throws doubt on that belief. Researchers collected dietary data from more than 500 women between the ages of 14 and 40. Bone mineral density was measured each year at the hip, the spine and the whole body. When the scientists analyzed the results, they found no difference in bone mineral density according to protein intake, with one exception. Women who at less vegetable protein had slightly but not significantly lower bone mineral density. The investigators conclude that protein intake in the upper range of typical US consumption does not have a negative effect on bone in premenopausal women.
[AmericanJournal of Clinical Nutrition, May, 2010]

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  1. Sue T
    Reply

    Thanks for the link to the publicly-available abstract. Unfortunately as usual the full study is not available without payment to the Journal. The study was looking at hormonal contraceptives and bone health. The abstract indicates the protein levels were based on results of a questionnaire (not measurements of intake); does not specify what was considered high, medium, or low protein levels; does not specify the period of time the questionnaire applied to nor the period of time the bone measurements were made; and does not clearly state whether there were women not on contraceptives in the study and if so, whether there was a difference in their bone density. Not much help for postmenopausal women.

  2. AKL
    Reply

    No matter how many times I go to conferences that include dietary information, the old ideas of increasing ‘good’ carbs and reducing proteins from meat and other animal items is stressed. When asked for proof, old ideas are expounded, and new studies are poo-poo’d. Are we really open to changed ideas, or do we hold on to the old ideas because they sound better?

  3. SC
    Reply

    What about for post menopausal women? Thanks!
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: UNFORTUNATELY, THEY WERE NOT INCLUDED IN THIS STUDY, SO WE DON’T HAVE DATA.

  4. SE
    Reply

    I am confused by the acid/alkaline debate. I was recently told to eat alkaline and less acidic. I was a vegan for yrs, then vegetarian and later switched to eating some clean, organic meats, fish and chicken. I seem to switch back and forth every yr or so. Its so confusing esp when you have health concerns like I do!
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: THIS STUDY DOES NOT ADDRESS YOUR SPECIFIC CONCERNS, BUT IT DOES SUGGEST THAT GETTING CARRIED AWAY AND STRIVING TO LOWER PROTEIN (INCLUDING RED MEAT) AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE DOESN’T OFFER BENEFITS.

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