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Consuming More Protein May Boost Bone Health

While consuming more protein has long been a method for people looking to build muscle, less is known about protein’s effects on bone. A recent study suggests that consuming more protein than the recommended daily allowance may help with bone health.


For this study, the researchers examined data from 31 studies that included adults age 18 and older and the relationship between protein intake at or above the US recommended daily allowance and bone health.


While many of the studies did find improvements in bone mineral density associated with higher intake of protein, others did not. One study did find that women who consumed 20% higher calibrated protein intakes also had a significant decrease in risk of forearm fracture. The researchers concluded that the results were inconclusive but trending toward positive for an association between higher protein intake and better bone health.


Researchers from George Mason University led the study. It was published online ahead of print on July 7, 2017, in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.


Protein functions as a building block for bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. It is also a building block for enzymes, hormones, and vitamins. Previous studies suggest that consuming high amounts of protein may help build muscle and increase metabolism.

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