Home Science news Meat-free diets linked with greater risk of breaking bones

Meat-free diets linked with greater risk of breaking bones

A vegetarian weight loss plan could improve the risk of breaking bones

coldsnowstorm/Getty Images

People who don’t eat meat are extra at risk of breaking bones, particularly their hips, in line with the biggest examine but of this risk. The impact could stem from an absence of calcium and protein of their weight loss plan, in addition to the truth that they are typically thinner and so have much less flesh to cushion a fall.

Several earlier research have proven that vegetarians have weaker bones than meat eaters, but it surely was unclear if this had any significant impact on their risk of fractures.

The new analysis took benefit of a long-running examine referred to as EPIC-Oxford, initially arrange to have a look at whether or not weight loss plan influences the risk of most cancers by following the well being of about 65,000 folks within the UK from 1993 onwards. The examine recorded folks’s typical weight loss plan and tracked their well being by means of hospital information.


By 2010, vegans had damaged a hip at over twice the speed of meat eaters, whereas vegetarians and fish eaters had a smaller improve in risk, of about 25 per cent. Vegans – however not vegetarians and pescetarians – additionally had the next risk of breaking different bones.

The total stage of risk to vegans was comparatively small, equating to about an additional 20 bones damaged per 1000 folks over 10 years. But the fracture charge is prone to be larger within the aged, who break hips extra usually, as the typical age of contributors firstly was 45, says researcher Tammy Tong on the University of Oxford.

When folks’s diets had been analysed, meat eaters consumed extra calcium and protein. Calcium is a vital element of bones, and protein could support calcium absorption from meals. “Unless they are actively supplementing, it’s quite unlikely that vegans will have a sufficient intake of calcium just from the diet,” says Tong.

But it’s doable that folks consuming a vegan weight loss plan immediately could have larger calcium ranges. “In the 1990s, there was less fortification of plant milks,” she says.

Heather Russell, a dietitian on the Vegan Society within the UK, says: “It’s certainly possible to look after your bones on a well-planned vegan diet, but people need information to make healthy choices.”

Studying the identical group of folks has beforehand proven that being vegetarian is linked with a couple of 10 per cent lower risk of cancer after 15 years, and a couple of 20 per cent lower rate of heart disease – but additionally a 20 per cent larger risk of a stroke.

Journal reference: BMC Medicine, DOI: 10.1186/s12916-020-01815-3

More on these subjects:


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here