Elderly women need dietary protein to maintain bone mass.
Excess dietary protein is considered a risk factor for osteoporosis owing to the potential for renal acid load. Researchers who conducted a recent prospective study of older adults reported that animal protein had a protective role for bone, especially in elderly women, whereas plant protein was negatively associated with bone mineral density. An interaction between protein and calcium suggested protein alone was not the important factor. Other studies confirm the beneficial effect of increasing dietary protein intake in older women to reduce bone mineral density loss and risk of fracture, suggesting that emphasis should be placed on promoting adequate protein intake in elderly women.
Bell J, Whiting SJ
Nutr. Rev. Oct 2002