Amount and type of protein influences bone health

Robert P. Heaney, Donald K. Layman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

130 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many factors influence bone mass. Protein has been identified as being both detrimental and beneficial to bone health, depending on a variety of factors, including the level of protein in the diet, the protein source, calcium intake, weight loss, and the acid/base balance of the diet. This review aims to briefly describe these factors and their relation to bone health. Loss of bone mass (osteopenia) and loss of muscle mass (sarcopenia) that occur with age are closely related. Factors that affect muscle anabolism, including protein intake, also affect bone mass. Changes in bone mass, muscle mass, and strength track together over the life span. Bone health is a multifactorial musculoskeletal issue. Calcium and protein intake interact constructively to affect bone health. Intakes of both calcium and protein must be adequate to fully realize the benefit of each nutrient on bone. Optimal protein intake for bone health is likely higher than current recommended intakes, particularly in the elderly. Concerns about dietary protein increasing urinary calcium appear to be offset by increases in absorption. Likewise, concerns about the impact of protein on acid production appear to be minor compared with the alkalinizing effects of fruits and vegetables. Perhaps more concern should be focused on increasing fruit and vegetable intake rather than reducing protein sources. The issue for public health professionals is whether recommended protein intakes should be increased, given the prevalence of osteoporosis and sarcopenia.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Volume87
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2008

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bones
Bone and Bones
Health
Proteins
protein intake
proteins
sarcopenia
Sarcopenia
Calcium
calcium
Vegetables
muscles
protein sources
dietary protein
Fruit
osteopenia
Diet
Muscles
acid-base balance
Acid-Base Equilibrium

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Amount and type of protein influences bone health. / Heaney, Robert P.; Layman, Donald K.

In: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 87, No. 5, 01.05.2008.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Heaney, Robert P. ; Layman, Donald K. / Amount and type of protein influences bone health. In: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2008 ; Vol. 87, No. 5.
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