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Nutrients 2015, 7(5), 3416-3426; doi:10.3390/nu7053416

Comparison of Correlates of Bone Mineral Density in Individuals Adhering to Lacto-Ovo, Vegan, or Omnivore Diets: A Cross-Sectional Investigation

1
School of Nutrition and Health Promotion, Arizona State University, 500 N. 3rd Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA
2
Department of Medicine, University of Colorado, 12631 East 17th Avenue, Aurora, CO 80045, USA
3
The University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix, 550 E. Van Buren St., Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 February 2015 / Revised: 9 April 2015 / Accepted: 13 April 2015 / Published: 11 May 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition and Bone Health)
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Abstract

Vegetarian diets are associated with factors that may not support bone health, such as low body mass and low intakes of protein; yet, these diets are alkaline, a factor that favors bone mineral density (BMD). This study compared the correlates of BMD in young, non-obese adults consuming meat-based (n = 27), lacto-ovo vegetarian (n = 27), or vegan (n = 28) diets for ≥1 year. A 24 h diet recall, whole body DXA scan, 24 h urine specimen, and fasting blood sample were collected from participants. BMD did not differ significantly between groups. Protein intake was reduced ~30% in individuals consuming lacto-ovo and vegan diets as compared to those consuming meat-based diets (68 ± 24, 69 ± 29, and 97 ± 47 g/day respectively, p = 0.006); yet dietary protein was only associated with BMD for those following vegan diets. Urinary pH was more alkaline in the lacto-ovo and vegan groups versus omnivores (6.5 ± 0.4, 6.7 ± 0.4, and 6.2 ± 0.4 respectively, p = 0.003); yet urinary pH was associated with BMD in omnivores only. These data suggest that plant-based diets are not detrimental to bone in young adults. Moreover, diet prescriptions for bone health may vary among diet groups: increased fruit and vegetable intake for individuals with high meat intakes and increased plant protein intake for individuals who follow a vegetarian diet plan. View Full-Text
Keywords: vegetarian; vegan; bone mineral density; protein; acid-base balance vegetarian; vegan; bone mineral density; protein; acid-base balance
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Knurick, J.R.; Johnston, C.S.; Wherry, S.J.; Aguayo, I. Comparison of Correlates of Bone Mineral Density in Individuals Adhering to Lacto-Ovo, Vegan, or Omnivore Diets: A Cross-Sectional Investigation. Nutrients 2015, 7, 3416-3426.

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