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Animal Proteins Linked to Higher Bone Mass Density in Elderly Men and Women

Tuesday, April 16, 2002

Animal protein plays a significant role in strengthening the bone density of elderly women, according to a study published in the latest edition of the American Journal of Epidemiology. The team of researchers from the University of California, San Diego, investigated the link between bone mineral density (BMD) and animal, vegetable and total protein levels.
The study focused on 572 women and 388 men between the ages of 55 and 92. The level of protein consumption was determined using food frequency questionnaires. The results, measured over four years, showed a clear correlation between animal protein consumption and BMD. The link was particularly strong in women, who showed statistically important increases in BMD at the hip, femoral, neck, spine and total body.
Neither men nor women showed any BMD benefit from the consumption of vegetable protein. In fact, the data showed a negative association, according to the research.
Lead researcher Dr. Elizabeth Barrett-Connor said the findings, along with the observation of a negative association between vegetable protein consumption and BMD, have significant implications for preventing osteoporosis and warrants further investigation in the elderly.


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