Bad diet leads to osteoporosis, frailty, and bone fractures in postmenopausal women

The Mediterranean diet and osteoarthritisMarion Hauser, MS, RD

Bone destruction is of course a major factor in both osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. Fractures of course, are of great concern to everyone, especially aging patients. In this article we will target bad diet and bone loss.

Postmenopausal women (average age 61) with knee osteoarthritis, who eat foods high in inflammatory factors not only make their knees worse, but increase their risk for fraility, faill risk and fractures.

In a recent study, an international team of researchers writing in the medical journal Osteoporosis international found that women who were already at high risk for advanced knee osteoarthritis and who continued to eat a diet of foods with high pro-inflammatory factors, also made themselves a higher risk for bone fractures(1).

Lead by Italian university researchers and including researchers from the University of South Carolina, this study followed men and women for 8 years of follow-up. Here is what they found.

  • Women were highly impacted by bad diet and the risk of future fractures.
  • During 8 years of follow-up, 560 individuals enrolled in the study developed fractures, representing 15.4% or about 1 in 6.5 women.
  • Even a small change in diet helped women significantly reduce their risk fracture for falling and fractures.

A small change in diet helps a lot

Confirming that even a small change in diet, away from inflammatory foods, a study in the Journal of bone and mineral research, doctors lead by a team from Ohio State University, and contributed to by researchers at the University of South Carolina, University of Massachusetts, University of Pittsburgh, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, University of Tennessee, Harvard Medical School, and the University of  Buffalo made these observations using over 160,000 study participants from data from the National Institutes of Health’s Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study and Clinical Trials.

  • Previous studies suggest that bone loss and fracture risk are associated with higher inflammatory milieu, potentially modifiable by diet.
  • A less inflammatory dietary pattern was associated with less Bone Mineral Density loss in postmenopausal women.
  • Benefits for the high risk group. Caucasian (white) women under the age of 63 were shown to be at the highest risk for bone fractures as it relates to a more inflammatory diet. Moving to a less inflammatory dietary lifestyle decreased this risk(2).

The simple learning point of this article is avoid these obvious bad food choices to lessen the risk of bone loss and fractures.

  • Sugar
  • Processed and refined foods
  • Alcohol
  • Artificial anything

(Some people do need animal fats and dairy products, these are people who have a metabolism that favors a high protein – higher fat diet – we call these Lion and Otters diet type – we have a general quiz that helps you identify if this may be you).

Reducing inflammation, reducing fall risks, reduce bone fracture risks, is as simple as a small change to your diet

American and German researchers combined to publish their data on: “Dietary Patterns and Fractures in Postmenopausal Women.” Researchers from UCLA, University of Alabama at Birmingham, the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University, Ohio State University, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, among others leading centers found that women, average age 63 and a half years old, who had higher adherence to a Mediterranean diet (low inflammatory diet) had a lower risk for hip fractures. Further, that these results support a healthy dietary pattern may play a role in maintaining bone health in postmenopausal women.(3) Learn more about The Mediterranean diet and osteoarthritis.

Also read my article on “inflammaging,” a recently coined term to describe the consequences on an inflammatory diet on aging joints.

1 Veronese N, Stubbs B, Koyanagi A, Hébert JR, Cooper C, Caruso MG, Guglielmi G, Reginster JY, Rizzoli R, Maggi S, Shivappa N. Pro-inflammatory dietary pattern is associated with fractures in women: an eight-year longitudinal cohort study. Osteoporosis International. 2017:1-9. [Google Scholar]

2 Orchard T, Yildiz V, Steck SE, Hébert JR, Ma Y, Cauley JA, Li W, Mossavar‐Rahmani Y, Johnson KC, Sattari M, LeBoff M. Dietary Inflammatory Index, Bone Mineral Density, and Risk of Fracture in Postmenopausal Women: Results From the Women’s Health Initiative. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. 2017 May 1;32(5):1136-46. [Google Scholar]

3 Haring B, Crandall CJ, Wu C, LeBlanc ES, Shikany JM, Carbone L, Orchard T, Thomas F, Wactawaski-Wende J, Li W, Cauley JA. Dietary patterns and fractures in postmenopausal women: results from the Women’s Health Initiative. JAMA internal medicine. 2016 May 1;176(5):645-52. [Google Scholar]

 

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