Health A to Z Last updated on 2022-11-11 13:06:02
Do vegans have lower bone mineral density and a higher risk for osteoporosis?
- Dr Spurti Kattimani
- 4 Min Read
- Fact Checked
Are vegans more prone to osteoporosis? Continue reading for information from our experts.
Osteoporosis is a condition that affects around 200 million individuals globally. The term osteoporosis is derived from the Greek words osteo, which means bone, and por, meaning passage. Therefore, the disease literally means "porous bone."
Bone is continuously going through a dynamic state of new bone formation and bone breakdown. Osteoporosis is a disorder characterized by decreased bone formation, or excessive bone loss, or a mix of the two, which causes bone fragility and risk of fractures, so much so that even basic activities like leaning over or coughing can result in fractures.
You may learn more about the different types of osteoporosis by clicking here.
Returning to our original question, do vegans have reduced bone mineral density, and are they more prone to osteoporosis?
To begin answering this question, consider the following:
How do bones become weak in the first place?
Bones are composed of a protein framework called collagen and a mineral called calcium phosphate. These elements work together to build strong bones.
However, if something, such as a disease, prevents these minerals from depositing in your bones or disrupts the creation of new bones, your bones can become weak.
Consider Celiac illness. It is a gastrointestinal illness that inhibits your body from absorbing key nutrients, such as calcium, which are required for bone formation.
Another example is vitamin D deficiency. Your body would be unable to absorb calcium from your meals if you did not have enough vitamin D.
Age might also play a role. Your bones, like any other cell in your body, are constantly renewing – old bone framework are replaced by new ones.
When you're young, your body produces new bones faster than it breaks old ones. As a result, your bone mass increases.
However, during the early twenties, this development slows, and most people reach their peak bone mass by the age of thirty. People's bone mass is lost quicker than it is formed as they age, causing them to become weaker and less dense.
Many other things can also weaken your bones. We discussed these in one of our previous blogs on types of osteoporosis.
So, do vegans have reduced bone mineral density and are more likely to develop osteoporosis?
It's not accurate to suggest that a "vegan diet" lowers bone mineral density and raises the risk of osteoporosis.
Low bone density and osteoporosis are caused by an imbalance of hormones or illnesses that impede calcium and phosphate absorption.
However, if you eat a well-balanced, calcium-rich diet, exercise consistently, are free from chronic conditions, and get lots of vitamin D, you should have a high bone mineral density.
The key here is to consume a healthy diet. Check this article on clean eating. It includes 5 healthy recipes and a weekly diet chart.
Why do vegans have a higher risk of bone fractures?
Anyone, regardless of their food preference, may be at risk for osteoporosis due to variables such as low body mass index, lack of physical activity, and insufficient calcium and protein intake.
Are vegans at risk of calcium deficiency?
According to certain studies, vegans consume less calcium and vitamin D than their non-vegan counterparts. As a result, they are more likely than non-vegans to have low bone mineral density and osteoporosis.
However, a vegan diet does not induce osteoporosis in itself. As a result, if you're a vegan, be sure you obtain adequate calcium from your diet.
Do you need assistance with your diet? View some of our services here.
Can osteoporosis be reversed with a plant-based diet?
Although a plant-based diet may reduce your risk of osteoporosis, scientists are unsure whether it can reverse the condition.
What are some calcium-rich vegetarian foods?
Green leafy vegetables, including spinach, broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale, collard greens, beans, and chickpeas, are high in calcium.
How do vegans avoid osteoporosis?
Consume a calcium-rich, well-balanced diet. Get enough vitamin D from sunlight. Do moderate exercise for 30 mins a day.
Is broccoli a good source of calcium?
Yes, broccoli has a high calcium content.
What is the fastest way to increase bone density?
Weight-training exercises, a well-balanced diet, and adequate vitamin D intake can all assist in building bone density.
Does ginger help with bone density?
No, ginger does not help you gain bone density.
Is garlic good for osteoporosis?
Garlic may aid with calcium absorption. Garlic also has an effect on osteoporosis by reducing oxidative stress*.
Read more on vitamin D-rich fruits and vegetables for your bone health.
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