Research Tips

January 26, 2009
To reduce the bone loss generally seen during weight loss, consume a diet high in protein, milk products, and calcium.
J Nutr. 2008 Jun;138(6):1096-100

February 3, 2009
Strong bones require both adequate dietary calcium and protein. Milk products and calcium fortified soymilk are good sources of both nutrients.
J Am Coll Nutr. 2005 Dec;24(6 Suppl):526S-36S.

February 11, 2009
Research shows that moderate to high protein intake has positive effects on bone health. Along with calcium, vitamins D and K, it is important to consume reasonable amounts of high protein foods.
Annu Rev Nutr. 2008;28:131-55

February 17, 2009
Frequent “heartburn” is medically known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD for short. Because frequent use of common GERD medications may lead to increased bone loss over time, it is important to consume a diet rich in calcium.
Nutr Rev. 2008 Feb;66(2):103-8.

April 1, 2009
Calcium is a key nutrient for bone health, but it is not the only important nutrient for bones. Adequate protein along with magnesium and vitamins D and K may be equally important for maintaining strong bones.
J Nutr. 2007 Nov;137(11 Suppl):2507S-2512S.

April 17, 2009
During pregnancy, the developing fetus requires about 30,000 milligrams of calcium for its skeleton. Much of this calcium is drawn from the mother’s bones. Consuming adequate amounts of high calcium foods before and during pregnancy can help to maintain bone quality.
J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia. 2005 Apr;10(2):105-18.

May 6, 2009
Studies of a French drug called strontium ranelate have shown that it treats osteoporosis as effectively as other common drugs used to boost bone density. In the U.S., this drug is not available, but dietary supplements are sold that contain strontium.
J Endocrinol Invest. 2005;28(8 Suppl):50-7.

May 18, 2009
A woman's bones are designed to handle the demands of pregnancy as long as her diet has an adequate supply of all nutrients - especially calcium.
Salud Publica Mex. 2009;51 Suppl 1:S100-7.

June 24, 2009
A large research study in China found that the women in rural counties with a dairy industry had significantly higher bone density associated with their greater consumption of milk products.
Am J Clin Nutr. 1993 Aug;58(2):219-27.

July 16, 2009
Omega-3 fatty acids can benefit joint health. Good food sources include fatty fish such as salmon, herring and sardines. Plant sources include flaxseed oil, walnuts and canola oil. Supplemental fish oils or algae oil also provide omega-3 fatty acids and generally show more benefit than plant-oil sources.
Am Fam Physician. 2004 Jul 1;70(1):133-40.

July 31, 2009
Nutrition is important in the prevention of osteoporosis. By eating a variety of foods you are more likely to consume the many vitamins and minerals needed for bone health.
Br J Nutr. 2009 Jun;101(11):1581-96.

August 7, 2009
A high-protein diet increases the loss of calcium in the urine. But a diet that is slightly low in protein decreases the absorption of calcium. Overall, consuming a diet slightly greater in protein than the current recommendation is best for bone health.
Nutr Metab (Lond). 2009 Mar 13;6:12.

August 17, 2009
It is a common misconception that protein from animal foods weakens bones. When the recommended intake of calcium is consumed, protein, including protein from animal foods, actually improves bone density. Milk is especially good because it is a high-quality protein source that also provides plenty of calcium.
J Am Coll Nutr. 2005 Dec;24(6 Suppl):526S-36S.

August 24, 2009
Joint pain and inflammation in older people often occurs due to cartilage loss and damage from wear and tear. To help maintain joint health, consume adequate vitamin C and protein to support cartilage formation and drink plenty of fluids.
Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2005;45(3):145-64.

September 23, 2009
Several nutrients influence bone health, including protein, magnesium, vitamins D and K, and, of course, calcium. These and other nutrients work together to maintain strong bones.
J Nutr. 2007 Nov;137(11 Suppl):2507S-2512S.

October 21, 2009
Research shows that maintaining bone-mineral density with age requires a diet that provides adequate protein as well as calcium.
Annu Rev Nutr. 2008;28:131-55.

October 24, 2009
Chronic joint pain is one of the most common medical complaints. Consuming enough omega-3 fatty acids helps to relieve some types of joint pains. Fish and algae oils show the most benefit. Some plant oils like flax, walnut, and canola also may help.
Am Fam Physician. 2004 Jul 1;70(1):133-40.

October 30, 2009
To prevent a resurgence of early 20th-century rickets in children, it is important to support bone health with adequate vitamin D. When substituting rice or soy milk for cow's milk, make sure that the products are fortified with vitamin D.
Pediatrics. 2001 Apr;107(4):E46.

November 2, 2009
The painful condition of osteoporosis is increasing as our population ages. Milk products are an easy way to meet bone calcium needs. If you don't consume milk products, make sure your food choices include other well absorbed sources of calcium.
Am J Clin Nutr. 1994 May;59(5 Suppl):1238S-1241S.

November 15, 2009
Besides adequate hydration, the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA may help to decrease joint pain. Key sources of these include fatty fish such as salmon and sardines and supplements of fish or algae oils.
Am Fam Physician. 2004 Jul 1;70(1):133-40.

December 8, 2009
Strontium is a mineral that can benefit bone strength. However, foods are not a good source of this mineral. In Europe, the drug strontium ranelate is sold as an effective and well-tolerated osteoporosis treatment. Currently, in the U.S., strontium is only available in dietary supplements.
J Endocrinol Invest. 2005;28(8 Suppl):50-7.

January 17, 2010
Research shows that dietary protein has a positive influence on bone health, reduced hip fracture risk, and promotes post-fracture recovery. Of course it is important to remember everything in moderation.
Annu Rev Nutr. 2008;28:131-55.

January 27, 2010
To avoid the bone loss generally seen during weight loss, consume a diet high in protein, milk products, and calcium.
J Nutr. 2008 Jun;138(6):1096-100.

February 3, 2010
Adequate dietary protein is as essential as calcium and vitamin D for bone health and osteoporosis prevention. Too much protein, however, may compromise bone health. It is all about balance.
J Am Coll Nutr. 2005 Dec;24(6 Suppl):526S-36S.

February 12, 2010
Research shows that protein from animal foods does not harm bone density unless the overall diet is low in calcium. When the recommended intake of calcium is met, protein, including animal protein, can actually improve bone density.
Annu Rev Nutr. 2008;28:131-55.

March 6, 2010
Preventing joint problems is easier than fixing them. Adequate daily intake many nutrients, including water and protein, helps to maintain good levels of synovial fluid in joints.
Hand Clin. 1987 Aug;3(3):325-36.

March 27, 2010
Calcium-fortified orange juice provides about the same amount of absorbable calcium as milk. For best results for bone health, choose fortified orange juice that also contains vitamin D.
Can Fam Physician. 2005 September 10; 51(9): 1205–1206.

April 5, 2010
Falling is always a concern for older individuals. Research on vitamin D supplementation showed a reduced risk of falling in women taking 700 IU of vitamin D per day over a three year period.
Arch Intern Med. 2006 Feb 27;166(4):424-30.

April 29, 2010
Preventing osteoporosis starts in adolescence and young adulthood. It is particularly important to have adequate calcium intake and physical activity to prevent bone fractures later in life.
J Am Coll Nutr. 1999 Oct;18(5 Suppl):406S-412S.

May 23, 2010
It is possible to choose vegetarian foods that meet calcium needs. However, including dairy products can make it easier to get enough calcium for bone health.
Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Sep;70(3 Suppl):543S-548S.

June 13, 2010
Drugs that supply the mineral strontium are widely used in Europe for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. In the U.S. strontium is available only in the form of dietary supplements.
J Endocrinol Invest. 2005;28(8 Suppl):50-7.

June 17, 2010
Maintaining strong bones requires an adequate intake of many nutrients. In addition to meeting the need for nutrients like calcium and vitamin D, consuming adequate protein also benefits bones.
J Am Coll Nutr. 2005 Dec;24(6 Suppl):526S-36S.

August 4, 2010
Although dietary protein tends to increase the loss of calcium in the urine, dietary protein also enhances the absorption of calcium. Overall, adequate protein benefits bone health.
Nutr Metab (Lond). 2009 Mar 13;6:12.

August 11, 2010
Inadequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids can aggravate arthritis. Consuming fish and algae oils can provide these food components and benefit overall joint health.
Am Fam Physician. 2004 Jul 1;70(1):133-40.

September 9, 2010
A woman's bones are designed to handle the demands of pregnancy as long as her diet has an adequate supply of all nutrients (especially calcium).
Endocrinology. 2010 Mar;151(3):886-95.

October 3, 2010
Consuming a diet with adequate protein is important for bone health.
Nutr Metab (Lond). 2009 Mar 13;6:12.

October 26, 2010
Studies on bone health report that a low protein diet can be as bad for bones as a low calcium diet. A balanced diet with adequate protein, calcium, and all other nutrients helps to avoid osteoporosis.
Annu Rev Nutr. 2008;28:131-55.

December 3, 2010
The new daily calcium intakes recommended by the Institute of Medicine are essentially the same as those released 13 years ago but they now are firmly supported by 13 more years of research.
Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D

December 6, 2010
The vitamin D Recommended Dietary Allowances are set to be adequate for the average healthy person. These recommendations may not meet the needs of high risk seniors such as those who are obese, have osteoporosis, or have limited sun exposure. The International Osteoporosis Foundation recommends greater amounts of vitamin D for these individuals.
IOF position statement: vitamin D recommendations for older adults.

January 22, 2011
Rapid weight loss from cutting calories can cause bone loss. Some researchers consider this association to be a serious and emerging problem following common types of obesity surgery. To reduce this bone loss while dieting, consume a diet high in protein, milk products, and calcium.
J Nutr. 2008 Jun;138(6):1096-100

May 4, 2011
If you have been urged to take medication due to low bone density, talk to your doctor about a one year trial of treating this with nutrition first. An adequate intake of vitamin D, calcium, vitamin K, and protein along with all other essential nutrients can be as effective as medications to rebuild bone in some people.
Nutrients 2010, 2, 1086-1105; doi:10.3390/nu2111086

June 5, 2011
A study of over 5000 women in Sweden found that calcium intake below 750 milligrams per day was associated with an increased risk of bone fractures. However, increasing calcium intake above 750 to 800 milligrams per day did not provide any further protection against bone fractures.
BMJ 2011; 342:d1473

June 8, 2011
Osteoporosis often is treated with bisphosphonate drugs such as Fosamax, Boniva, and Actonel. These drugs work best when combined with adequate intake of vitamin D and calcium.
Calcif Tissue Int. 2011 Jun;88(6):485-94.

August 15, 2011
Maintaining lifelong bone health requires adequate calcium, vitamin D, and several other nutrients. However, the amount of calcium needed for bone health continues to be controversial. A recent Swedish study indicated that calcium intake exceeding 800 mg a day provided no additional benefit to bone health.
BMJ. 2011 May 24;342:d1473.

March 16, 2012
A study of 70 postmenopausal women found that a daily supplement of bone-related nutrients (800 IU vitamin D, 150 ?g vitamin K, 1 g omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, 30 mg genistein, and 500 mg calcium) increased bone mineral density within a 6 month period.
Eur J Nutr. 2012 Feb 3. [Epub ahead of print]

June 21, 2012
Recent research from Mayo Clinic shows that muscle mass is associated with bone strength. This may be important in developing new strategies for preventing osteoporosis and it supports the importance of exercise for bone health.
J Bone Miner Res. 2012 May 23. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.1666. [Epub ahead of print]

August 28, 2012
The lack of gravity during space travel causes rapid bone loss. Combining resistance exercise with an adequate calorie and nutrient intake helps to protect an astronaut's bones. What we are learning from research on bone loss in space may help us better understand how to slow bone loss in old age.
J Bone Miner Res. 2012 Sep;27(9):1896-906. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.1647.

September 19, 2012
Chronic lack of adequate sleep is known to take a toll on many aspects of health. A recent study with rats found that sleep deprivation caused increased bone loss and abnormal blood cell production in bone marrow. Further study is needed to assess the possibility of this occurring in humans and to determine if poor sleep is a risk factor in osteoporosis.
Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2012 Sep 3. [Epub ahead of print]

October 15, 2012
There is a long list of nutrients important to bone health that includes calcium, vitamin D, and adequate protein, among others. Growing evidence adds vitamin C to the list, emphasizing the importance of consuming a wide variety of foods across all the food groups for good health, including bone health.
PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (10): e47058.

October 22, 2012
Using bone density measurements from bone scans to evaluate the risk of developing osteoporosis currently requires comparing the values to reference standards from an individual's racial group. A newly developed technique shows promise for eliminating the need to have a racially specific comparison group.
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2012; 97 (10): 3593 DOI: 10.1210/jc.2012-1997

December 12, 2012
Bone health and strength is dependent on an adequate intake of many nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, and protein. New research on the protein structure in bones also provides strong support for the important role of vitamin K in maintaining bone strength.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Nov 20;109(47):19178-83.

February 13, 2013
Another study confirms the association between milk products and bone health. The study also emphasizes that milk products like cream that are not good sources of calcium, vitamin D, and protein are not linked with bone health.
Arch Osteoporos. 2013 Dec;8(1-2):119.

September 27, 2013
A new study confirms that adequate dietary calcium is very important to bone health. Vitamin D also plays an important role, but increasing vitamin D intake above recommended levels had less impact than calcium intake on hormonal factors benefiting bone.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Sep 24. [Epub ahead of print]

October 27, 2013
A component in broccoli and other cabbage family plants called sulforaphane has been found to protect cartilage and help to prevent osteoarthritis in mice. Human studies are needed to see if humans experience similar benefits. In the meantime, remember to eat your veggies.
Arthritis Rheum. 2013 Aug 27. [Epub ahead of print]

December 13, 2013
A study of 63 healthy children, ages 4 to 8 year, found that those who consumed and absorbed the most magnesium had better bone mass than those who consumed less. However, there was no significant association between calcium intake and bone mass. Foods such as beans, nuts, some green vegetables, and salmon are good sources of magnesium.
J Bone Miner Res. 2013 Jun 20.

June 16, 2014
Many nutrients are important for bone health. A new study adds vitamin B12 to the list. Detailed mouse research, confirmed by human study data, indicates that low vitamin B12 status in the mother impairs bone development in her offspring. Vitamin B12 is found primarily in animal foods. Vegan diets naturally lack the vitamin.
J Clin Invest. 2014 Jun 9. [Epub ahead of print]

July 18, 2014
Milk and Knee Osteoarthritis: Women with knee osteoarthritis who consumed the most milk experienced a reduced progression of their disease. Milk provides several nutrients that could benefit joints, including protein, calcium, riboflavin, etc.
Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2014 Jun;66(6):802-9.

September 30, 2014
Bariatric Surgery and Bone Loss: Rapid weight loss from any means often includes a significant amount of bone loss. As would be expected, this bone loss occurs following weight loss surgery. However, this post-surgery bone loss seems to continue even after weight has stabilized, increasing the long term risk of developing osteoporosis.
J Bone Miner Res. 2014 Jul;29(7):1507-18.

January 23, 2015
Potassium and Bone Health: Several studies have found that taking supplements of potassium citrate or potassium bicarbonate reduces calcium loss in the urine and promotes bone health. This helps to explain why including fruits and vegetables in an overall healthful diet is associated with good bone health.
Osteoporos Int. 2015 Jan 9. [Epub ahead of print]

March 4, 2015
High Heel Shoes and Knee Problems: A study of walking in high heel shoes found that it changes the mechanical stress on the knees in a way that would be expected to increase the risk of developing over-use arthritis (osteoarthritis). Their results suggest saving those fancy high heels for special occasions, not for daily wear.
J Orthop Res. 2015 Mar;33(3):405-11.

June 30, 2015
Screen Time and Bone Density: A Norwegian study of 316 boys and 372 girls 15 to 19 years old found that those who spent two to four hours, or more than six hours, in front of the screen every day tended to be slightly heavier than their peers who spent less screen time. On average, the boys spent about 5 hours/day and girls about 4 hours/day in front of the computer and television. Excess screen time also was associated with lower bone mineral density in boys, but not in girls.
BMJ Open. 2015 Apr 22;5(6):e006665.

October 7, 2015
Osteoporosis and Nutrition: A new scientific review published in the journal of the International Osteoporosis Foundation emphasizes that many nutrients are important for bone health. Among the newest recommendations is for increased protein intake in older people. The report stresses that ". . . older people need more dietary protein than do younger people; older people should consume an average daily intake at least in the range of 1–1.2 g/kg body weight/day."
Osteo Int. 28 September 2015. [Epub ahead of print]

November 15, 2015
Joint Pain and Nutrition: Besides adequate hydration, the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA may help to decrease joint pain. Key sources of these include fatty fish such as salmon and sardines and supplements of fish or algae oils
Am Fam Physician. 2004 Jul 1;70(1):133-40.

February 5, 2016
Vitamin D and Bones of Football Players: Some of those big guys playing in the Superbowl may be vitamin D Deficient according to some interesting research on American football players. Those with the lowest vitamin D status were more likely to have bone fractures and players with darker skin were more likely to have lower vitamin D status.
Am J Sports Med. 2015 May;43(5):1241-5.

April 20, 2016
Exercise and Bone Health: Most studies on bone health indicate that exercises like running that put stress on bones help to maintain bone calcium, bone density, and bone strength with aging. A new study that compared middle-aged adult marathon runners to shorter distance runners and sedentary people found that greater running distance was related to increased measures of bone strength in the heel bone (calcaneus).
Eur J Appl Physiol. 2016 Feb;116(2):327-33.

April 22, 2016
Cow's Milk Allergy and Bones: A study compared 52 boys and girls (age 5 to 9 years) who had persistent cow's milk allergies to a group of 29 children with other food allergies and found that bone density was significantly lower in the children with the cow's milk allergy. Milk and milk products provide multiple nutrients essential for bone health - especially protein, calcium, and vitamin D.
Pediatrics. May 2016. [Epub ahead of print]

April 30, 2016
Preventing Osteoporosis: It is particularly important to have adequate calcium intake and physical activity in adolescence and young adulthood to prevent bone fractures later in life.
J Am Coll Nutr. 1999 Oct;18(5 Suppl):406S-412S.

December 29, 2016
Gelatin, Vitamin C and Joints: Collagen is a major protein in the cartilage of joints. The results from a combined study of cell culture and exercise trials in men suggested that consuming gelatin with vitamin C an hour before high intensity intermittent exercise improved indicators of collagen synthesis and could play a beneficial role in injury prevention and treatment.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Nov 16. [Epub ahead of print]

January 14, 2017
Protein and Bones:Research shows that dietary protein has a positive influence on bone health, reduced hip fracture risk, and promotes post-fracture recovery. Of course it is important to remember everything in moderation.
Annu Rev Nutr. 2008;28:131-55.

February 19, 2017
Celiac disease damages the intestinal lining and can impair the absorption of some vitamins and minerals. As a consequence, both children and adults with celiac disease are at increased risk for low bone density. Recent research suggests that taking supplements with vitamins D and K may be especially important to prevent bone loss in those with celiac disease.
Clin Rev Allergy Immunol. 2012 Jun;42(3):322-30

March 10, 2017
Knee Replacement and Nutrition: Overweight and obese people often develop knee problems that make them candidates for knee replacement surgery. However, nutritional assessment of this population often identifies nutritional problems such as protein deficiency that can contribute to poor outcomes. Preoperative weight loss may improve surgical success along with assuring good nutritional status with no nutrient deficiencies.
J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2017 Mar;25(3):188-194.

May 22, 2017
Fat in Bones: When body fat increases, it appears that the amount of fat in bone marrow also increases. A new study with mice found that exercise helps to reduce bone fat and to enhance bone quality.
J Bone Miner Res. 2017 Apr 24. [Epub ahead of print]

November 29, 2017
Weight Loss and Joint Health: A Study followed 640 overweight and obese men and women with MRI findings of osteoarthritis over a 4-year period. They found that those who reduced their body weight by at least 5 to 10 percent had significantly less cartilage degeneration than those who maintained their excess body weight. It may be important that the weight loss occurred over a 4-year period because other research has found that rapid weight loss (especially without exercise) can cause bone loss.
Radiology. 2017;284(2):508–520.

March 1, 2018
Bone Health and Blood Glucose: New research indicates that bone cells play a significant role in the utilization and regulation of blood glucose. Consuming adequate calories and bone-related nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and protein appears to be important not only for preventing osteoporosis, but also for maintaining normal control of blood glucose.
J Clin Invest. Feb 12, 2018. [Epub ahead of print]

April 10, 2018
Dairy Foods and Bones: Milk and milk-based foods provide the key nutrients for bone health - calcium, protein, and vitamin D. New research using measures of bone integrity called quantitative computed tomography (QCT) found that men over 50 who consumed more dairy foods had better bone health.
J Bone Min Res. 30 March 2018. [Epub ahead of print]

April 24, 2018
Obesity and Arthritis: Obesity is known to be associated with increased general inflammation in the body and an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis. Rats fed a high fat diet developed obesity, inflammation, and osteoarthritis. However, obese mice given a supplement of the prebiotic oligofructose had beneficial changes in the composition of their gut microbiome that was associated with reduced inflammation and no development of osteoarthritis.
JCI Insight. 2018;3(8):e95997.

May 17, 2018
Protein and Bone Health: A new international expert consensus statement confirms that adequate dietary protein is essential for optimal bone development and maintenance of bone health throughout adult years of life. The article states that, "In older people with osteoporosis, higher protein intake (??0.8-g/kg body weight/day, i.e., above the current RDA) is associated with higher BMD, a slower rate of bone loss, and reduced risk of hip fracture, provided that dietary calcium intakes are adequate."
Osteoporos Int. 2018 May 8. [Epub ahead of print]

June 23, 2018
Importance of muscle for bone strength: Mayo Clinic research shows that muscle mass is associated with bone strength. This may be important in developing new strategies for preventing osteoporosis and it supports the importance of exercise for bone health.
J Bone Miner Res. 2012 Oct;27(10):2159-69. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.1666.

June 30, 2018
Bone Density and Men: Guidelines from The Endocrine Society recommend measurement of bone density in men over age 70 and men aged 50-69 who have risk factors such as low body weight, prior fracture as an adult, smoking, etc. The guidelines also encourage consuming adequate dietary calcium and vitamin D, participating in weight-bearing exercise, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Jun;97(6):1802-22. doi: 10.1210/jc.2011-3045.

October 18, 2018
Diet, Exercise, and Bone Health: A study with mice found that combining exercise with a mineral-supplemented diet (calcium and phosphorus) resulted in greater mass and structural strength of bones than exercise with a regular diet. How this translates to human bone health is unclear, but it supports the recommendation to meet calcium needs. Most of us have plenty of phosphorus in our diets.
PLOS ONE. 21 Sept 2018. [Epub ahead of print]