Category Archives: Diet

Review: Dairy for Bones


Invited review: Dairy intake and bone health: a viewpoint from the state of the art.

The aim of this review was to focus on the complex relationships between milk and dairy products intake and bone health, with particular emphasis on osteoporosis. The literature was extensively examined to provide an objective overview of the most significant achievements on the subject. Osteoporosis can be defined as a disease characterized by low bone mass and microarchitectural deterioration of bone tissue, leading to enhanced bone fragility and a consequent increase in fracture risk. Although the major determinants of peak bone mass and strength are genetic, major factors during childhood and adolescence may affect the ability to achieve peak bone mass. These include nutrition, particularly calcium and protein intake, physical activity, endocrine status, as well as exposure to a wide variety of risk factors. The role of calcium intake in determining bone mineral mass is well recognized to be the most critical nutritional factor to achieve optimal peak bone mass. The greatest amount of dietary calcium is obtained from milk and dairy foods, which also provide the human diet with vitamin D (particularly for products fortified with vitamin D), potassium, and other macro- and micronutrients. Although studies supporting the beneficial effects of milk or calcium on bone health are predominant in the literature, perplexity or discordance on this subject was expressed by some authors. Discordant data, mainly on the risk of fractures, provided limited proof of the unfavorable effect of dairy intake. More often, discordant works indicate no effect of dairy consumption on bone safety. Some considerations can be drawn from this viewpoint. Milk and dairy products are an optimal source of calcium as well as of other limiting nutrients (e.g., potassium and magnesium), with important effects on bone health. Bioactive components occurring in milk and dairy products may play an essential role on bone metabolism, as shown by in vivo and in vitro studies on colostrum acidic proteins and milk basic proteins. Calcium intake positively affects bone mass and is crucial in childhood and youth for correct bone development. In elderly people, calcium intake as well as vitamin D availability should be carefully checked. As a general conclusion, calcium is essential for bone health, although it will not prevent bone loss due to other factors; in this context, milk and dairy foods are bioavailable, relatively inexpensive sources of calcium for the human diet.

Caroli A, Poli A, Ricotta D, Banfi G…
J. Dairy Sci. Nov 2011
PMID: 22032348 | Free Full Text

This article reviews some of the negative studies on dairy for bones. Including this study. The article concludes with:

In any case, some general conclusions can be drawn. First, milk and dairy products are an optimal source of calcium as well as other limiting nutrients (e.g., potassium and magnesium), with important effects on bone health. Bioactive components occurring in milk and dairy products may play an essential role in bone metabolism, as shown by colostrum acidic proteins and MBP. Calcium intake positively affects bone mass and is crucial in childhood and youth for correct bone development. In elderly people, calcium intake as well as vitamin D availability should be carefully checked. The literature reporting favorable effects of milk and dairy products on bone is highly predominant compared with contradictory papers, including discordant and perplexing works. Discordant data, mainly on the risk of fractures, provided limited proof of the unfavorable effects of dairy intake. The majority of the contradictory papers indicate that dairy consumption does not alter bone safety. The best conclusion comes from Lindsay and Nieves (1994):

“Calcium will not prevent the bone loss due to other factors . . . nonetheless, milk is a bioavailable, relatively inexpensive source of calcium for those who can ingest it.”

Milk Increases Risk of Fracture in Women


Milk, dietary calcium, and bone fractures in women: a 12-year prospective study.

This study examined whether higher intakes of milk and other calcium-rich foods during adult years can reduce the risk of osteoporotic fractures.
This was a 12-year prospective study among 77761 women, aged 34 through 59 years in 1980, who had never used calcium supplements. Dietary intake was assessed with a food-frequency questionnaire in 1980, 1984, and 1986. Fractures of the proximal femur (n = 133) and distal radius (n = 1046) from low or moderate trauma were self-reported on biennial questionnaires.
We found no evidence that higher intakes of milk or calcium from food sources reduce fracture incidence. Women who drank two or more glasses of milk per day had relative risks of 1.45 for hip fracture (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.87, 2.43) and 1.05 for forearm fracture (95% CI = 0.88, 1.25) when compared with women consuming one glass or less per week. Likewise, higher intakes of total dietary calcium or calcium from dairy foods were not associated with decreased risk of hip or forearm fracture.
These data do not support the hypothesis that higher consumption of milk or other food sources of calcium by adult women protects against hip or forearm fractures.

Feskanich D, Willett WC, Stampfer MJ, Colditz GA
Am J Public Health Jun 1997
PMID: 9224182 | Free Full Text

Soy Isoflavones + Vitamin D3 Improve Bone Density, Stimulate Osteoblasts, and Inhibit Osteoclasts in Ovariectomized Rats


Combined effect of soy isoflavones and vitamin D3 on bone loss in ovariectomized rats.

Several studies have shown that soy isoflavones have estrogen-like activities and might constitute an alternative to hormone replacement treatment. The present study investigated the effects of soy isoflavones alone and combined with vitamin D3 on prevention of bone loss.
Sprague-Dawley rats were sham-operated (n = 8) or ovariectomized (OVX; n = 40), and then the OVX rats were randomly assigned to five groups that were untreated or treated for 14 wk with vitamin D3, 17β-estradiol, soy isoflavone extract (SIE), or vitamin D3 plus SIE. The effects of the isoflavones and 1α,25(OH)(2)D(3) on cultured osteoblasts and osteoclasts also were investigated.
In OVX rats, the bone mineral density and trabecular bone volume loss were improved by 17β-estradiol, SIE, or SIE plus vitamin D3 treatment. SIE treatment was more effective than vitamin D3 or 17β-estradiol in inhibiting increases in serum tumor necrosis factor-α levels and osteoblast osteoprotegerin expression. SIE plus vitamin D3 was more effective in increasing osterix expression than each alone. Bone cell cultures showed that the isoflavones induced preosteoblasts to differentiate into osteoblasts and increased osteoblast mineralization. Isoflavones inhibited preosteoclasts and osteoclast proliferation and decreased osteoclast resorption. The combination of isoflavones plus 1α,25(OH)(2)D(3) showed additive effects on the increase in cell proliferation of cultured preosteoblasts.
Treatment with soy isoflavones might be an alternative to hormone replacement therapy in decreasing bone loss from postmenopausal estrogen deficiency. In addition, there are further effects on increasing transcription factor osterix expression and preosteoblast proliferation when these were combined with vitamin D3.

Chang KL, Hu YC, Hsieh BS, Cheng HL…
Nutrition Jan 2013
PMID: 22858193

Low to Moderate Alcohol May Protect Bone


Alcohol consumption and bone mineral density in elderly women.

Findings regarding alcohol consumption and bone mineral density (BMD) in elderly women have been inconsistent. The objective of the present study was to explore the association of alcohol intake with BMD in elderly women.
This cohort study included women from the population-based Kuopio Osteoporosis Risk Factor and Prevention – Fracture Prevention Study (OSTPRE-FPS). Alcohol intake and potential confounders were assessed at baseline and after 3 years of follow-up using a lifestyle questionnaire. In addition, an FFQ was distributed in the third year to measure dietary intake, including alcohol. Women underwent BMD measurements at the femoral neck and lumbar spine at baseline and after 3 years of follow-up.
Kuopio Province, Finland.
Three hundred elderly women (mean age 67·8 years) who provided both BMD measurements and FFQ data.
Alcohol consumption estimated from the FFQ and lifestyle questionnaire was significantly associated with BMD at both measurement sites after adjustment for potential confounders, including lifestyle and dietary factors (P < 0·05). Using the FFQ, women drinking >3 alcoholic drinks/week had significantly higher BMD than abstainers, 12·0 % at the femoral neck and 9·2 % at the lumbar spine. Results based on the lifestyle questionnaire showed higher BMD values for all alcohol-consuming women at the femoral neck and for women drinking 1-3 alcoholic beverages/week at the lumbar spine, compared with non-users.
The results from OSTPRE-FPS suggest that low to moderate alcohol intake may exert protective effects on bone health in elderly women.

Sommer I, Erkkilä AT, Järvinen R, Mursu J…
Public Health Nutr Apr 2013
PMID: 22800300

Fruit Associated With Bone Density and Content in Chinese Women


Fruit and vegetable intake and bone mass in Chinese adolescents, young and postmenopausal women.

Previous studies showed an inconsistent association of fruit and vegetable consumption with bone health. We assessed the associations in Chinese adolescents, young and postmenopausal women.
A cross-sectional study conducted in China during July 2009 to May 2010.
Bone mineral density (BMD) and content (BMC) at the whole body, lumbar spine and left hip were measured with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Dietary intakes were assessed using an FFQ. All these values were separately standardized into Z-scores in each population subgroup.
One hundred and ten boys and 112 girls (11-14 years), 371 young women (20-34 years, postpartum within 2 weeks) and 333 postmenopausal women (50-70 years).
After adjustment for potential covariates, analysis of covariance showed a significantly positive association between fruit intake and BMD and BMC in all participants combined (P-trend: < 0.001 to 0.002). BMD Z-score increased by 0.25 (or 2.1 % of the mean), 0.22 (3.5 %), 0.23 (3.0 %) and 0.25 (3.5 %), and BMC Z-score increased by 0.33 (5.7 %), 0.25 (5.8 %), 0.34 (5.9 %) and 0.29 (4.7 %), at the total body, lumbar spine, total hip and femoral neck in participants belonging to the top tertile compared with the bottom tertile of fruit intake (all P < 0.05), respectively. There was no significant association between vegetable intake and bone mass at all bone sites studied except for total body BMD (P = 0.030). Relatively more pronounced effects were observed in boys and postmenopausal women.
Our findings add to the existing evidence that fruits and vegetables may have a bone sparing effect.

Li JJ, Huang ZW, Wang RQ, Ma XM…
Public Health Nutr Jan 2013
PMID: 22717072

Blueberry May Prevent Collagen and Bone Loss in Rat Cells


Blueberry consumption prevents loss of collagen in bone matrix and inhibits senescence pathways in osteoblastic cells.

Ovariectomy (OVX)-induced bone loss has been linked to increased bone turnover and higher bone matrix collagen degradation as the result of osteoclast activation. However, the role of degraded collagen matrix in the fate of resident bone-forming cells is unclear. In this report, we show that OVX-induced bone loss is associated with profound decreases in collagen 1 and Sirt1. This was accompanied by increases in expression and activity of the senescence marker collagenase and expression of p16/p21 in bone. Feeding a diet supplemented with blueberries (BB) to pre-pubertal rats throughout development or only prior to puberty [postnatal day 21 (PND21) to PND34] prevents OVX-induced effects on expression of these molecules at PND68. In order to provide more evidence and gain a better understanding on the association between bone collagen matrix and resident bone cell fate, in vitro studies on the cellular senescence pathway using primary calvarial cells and three cell lines (ST2 cells, OB6, and MLO-Y4) were conducted. We found that senescence was inhibited by collagen in a dose-response manner. Treatment of cells with serum from OVX rats accelerated osteoblastic cell senescence pathways, but serum from BB-fed OVX rats had no effect. In the presence of low collagen or treatment with OVX rat serum, ST2 cells exhibited higher potential to differentiate into adipocytes. Finally, we demonstrated that bone cell senescence is associated with decreased Sirt1 expression and activated p53, p16, and p21. These results suggest that (1) a significant prevention of OVX-induced bone cell senescence from adult rats can occur after only 14 days consumption of a BB-containing diet immediately prior to puberty, and (2) the molecular mechanisms underlying this effect involves, at least in part, prevention of collagen degradation.

Zhang J, Lazarenko OP, Blackburn ML, Badger TM…
Age (Dordr) Jun 2013
PMID: 22555620

Skipping Breakfast Associated with Lower Bone Density in Young Women


Relationship between skipping breakfast and bone mineral density in young Japanese women.

It is well known that insufficient nutrient intake leads to poor bone status. To find a simple evaluation method for prevention of nutrition intake disorder, a cross-sectional study with 275 healthy Japanese female students aged 19-25 was conducted.
Anthropometric parameters, bone mineral density (BMD) at lumbar and total hip, bone metabolic markers and physical activity were measured in study participants and the frequency of skipping meals (breakfast, lunch, supper), and absolute values for nutrient intakes were assessed using a Diet History Questionnaire.
The frequency of skipping breakfast significantly correlate to total energy intake (ρ= -0.276, p<0.001). BMI, total intake of energy, intake of protein, intake of phosphate, and energy expenditure positively correlated significantly to BMD at lumbar and total hip (p<0.05) using simple linear regression. BMI (regression coefficient (b))=0.088, p<0.001), bone alkaline phosphatase (b= -0.050, p=0.012), total energy expenditure (b=0.019, p<0.001), and frequency of skipping breakfast (b= -0.018, p=0.048) were independent risk factors for lower total hip BMD by multiple regression analysis. The total hip BMD in participants who skipped breakfast three or more times was significantly lower than in those who did not skip breakfast (p=0.007).
In conclusion, managing the frequency of skipping breakfast and reducing it to <3 times per week may be beneficial for the maintenance of bone health in younger women.

Kuroda T, Onoe Y, Yoshikata R, Ohta H
Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2013
PMID: 24231019 | Free Full Text

Breakfast and Exercise in High School Increases Bone Density in Men


Consuming breakfast and exercising longer during high school increases bone mineral density in young adult men.

We examined the bone mineral densities (BMDs) of young adult men and analyzed the factors associated with BMD differences. Between 1993 and 2002, all male freshmen in the Wakayama Medical University, Japan were recruited into the present study, which included a self-administrated questionnaire survey, anthropometric measurements, and BMD measurements of the spine and hip. Of a total of 387 freshmen, 382 (98.7 %; mean age, 20.3 years; age range, 18-29 years) completed the study. The mean BMDs of the spine (L2-4) and femoral neck (FN) were 1.21 (standard deviation, 0.13) g/cm(2) and 1.12 (0.14) g/cm(2), respectively. The L2-4 BMDs were not associated with age, while FN BMDs were significantly inversely associated with age. The BMDs at L2-4 and FN were significantly associated with body mass index (BMI). After adjustment for age and BMI, multivariate regression analysis indicated that BMDs at L2-4 and FN were associated with current longer exercise duration (L2-4, p = 0.024; FN, p = 0.001), those at L2-4 with milk intake (p = 0.024), and those at FN with consuming breakfast (p = 0.004). Similarly, habits of consuming breakfast and exercising longer (on a weekly basis) during high school were linked with significantly higher L2-4 and FN BMDs. High-impact activities during high school significantly influenced the later BMDs. In conclusion, to maximize peak bone mass, consuming breakfast and completing a longer duration of stronger exercise in the late high school years for at least 10 h per week is recommended.

Ishimoto Y, Yoshida M, Nagata K, Yamada H…
J. Bone Miner. Metab. May 2013
PMID: 23263782

Breakfast and Exercise Important for Bone Mass in Young Adults


Skipping breakfast and less exercise are risk factors for bone loss in young Japanese adults: a 3-year follow-up study.

Although bone loss contributes to osteoporosis (OP) in the elderly, little is known about changes in bone mineral density (BMD) in young adults that lead to bone loss. Here, we evaluated the rate of bone change and risk factors for bone loss in young men and women using data from a 3-year prospective study of Japanese medical students. The study included a self-administrated questionnaire survey, anthropometric measurements, and BMD measurements of the spine (L2-L4) and femoral neck (FN). After 3 years, the BMD of the participants was again measured at the same sites. In all, 458 students (95.4 %; 298 men and 160 women; age range, 18-29 years; mean age, 20.2 years) completed both the baseline and follow-up surveys. The mean L2-L4 BMD value at baseline increased significantly within 3 years. This tendency was also observed for the FN in men but not in women. The annual changes at L2-L4 were 1.78 % in men and 0.97 % in women per year; those for FN were 1.08 % in men and 0.08 % in women per year. However, 20.3 % and 38.5 % of the total freshmen lost BMD in the lumbar spine and FN, respectively. After adjustment for age and body mass index, logistic regression analysis revealed that bone loss in men at L2-L4 at the baseline was affected by skipping breakfast. In contrast, exercise (>2 h/week) increased lumbar spine BMD in both genders. These findings indicate that breakfast and exercise are important for maintaining BMD in young men and women.

Nagata K, Yoshida M, Ishimoto Y, Hashizume H…
J. Bone Miner. Metab. Sep 2013
PMID: 24052206

Tualang Honey Improves Bone Structure in Ovariectomized Rats


Protective effects of Tualang honey on bone structure in experimental postmenopausal rats.

The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of Tualang honey on trabecular structure and compare these effects with those of calcium supplementation in ovariectomized rats.
Forty female, Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into five groups (n =8): four controls and one test arm. The control arm comprised a baseline control, sham-operated control, ovariectomized control, and ovariectomized calcium-treated rats (receiving 1% calcium in drinking water ad libitum). The test arm was composed of ovariectomized, Tualang honey-treated rats (received 0.2 g/kg body weight of Tualang honey). Both the sham-operated control and ovariectomized control groups received vehicle treatment (deionized water), and the baseline control group was sacrificed without treatment.
All rats were orally gavaged daily for six weeks after day one post-surgery. The bone structural analysis of rats in the test arm group showed a significant increase in the bone volume per tissue volume (BV/TV), trabecular thickness (Tb.Th) and trabecular number (Tb.N) and a significant decrease in inter-trabecular space (Tb.Sp) compared with the ovariectomized control group. The trabecular thickness (Tb.Th) in the test arm group was significantly higher compared with the ovariectomized-calcium treated group, and the inter-trabecular space (Tb.Sp) in the test arm group was significantly narrower compared with the ovariectomized-calcium treated group.
In conclusion, ovariectomized rats that received Tualang honey showed more improvements in trabecular bone structure than the rats that received calcium.

Zaid SS, Sulaiman SA, Othman NH, Soelaiman IN…
Clinics (Sao Paulo) Jul 2012
PMID: 22892923 | Free Full Text

From “Review of the Medicinal Effects of Tualang Honey and a Comparison with Manuka Honey

Tualang honey (TH) is a Malaysian multifloral jungle honey. In recent years, there has been a marked increase in the number of studies published in medical databases regarding its potential health benefits. The honey is produced by the rock bee (Apis dorsata), which builds hives on branches of tall Tualang trees located mainly in the north-western region of Peninsular Malaysia. This review collates the results of the various studies of TH that range from research on tissue culture to randomised control clinical trials. Findings thus far show that, TH has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimutagenic, antitumor, and antidiabetic properties, in addition to wound-healing attributes. Some of its properties are similar to the well-researched Manuka honey (New Zealand and/or Australian monofloral honey). Distinct differences include higher phenolics, flavonoids, and 5-(hydroxymethyl) furfural (HMF). Compared with Manuka honey, TH is also more effective against some gram-negative bacterial strains in burn wounds.