Bad diet leads to inflammation, osteoporosis and fractures in postmenopausal women

The Mediterranean diet and osteoarthritisMarion Hauser, MS, RD

While we have discussed the problems of bad diet and arthritis, we have not touched on the problem of bad diet and bone destruction. 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, inflammation, and postmenopausal women.

An international team of researchers  writing in the medical journal Osteoporosis international (October 2017) found that women who were already at high risk for knee osteoarthritis and who continued to eat a diet of foods with high pro-inflammatory factors, also made themselves a high risk for bone fractures.1

Lead by Italian university researchers and including researchers from the University of South Carolina, the study followed the eating and dietary habits of men and women at risk for knee osteoarthritis. The researchers wrote:  “Inflammation is a key risk factor for many adverse outcomes in older people. While diet is a potential source of inflammation, “little is known about the impact of inflammatory diet on fractures.”

After 8 years they found out what that impact was:

Bone fractures as it relates to a more inflammatory diet

Back in the United States, in research from May 2017 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.

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

(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)

And there are many more. The good news take home point is that you can learn about good foods and diet and how they benefit you by reading my past articles:


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.

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.


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