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Higher Protein Intake May Benefit Bone Health in People with Osteoarthritis

Bone health naturally declines as we age, putting people at risk of dangerous fractures later in life. A recent study suggests that higher protein intake may help with bone health in mature adults with osteoarthritis.


For this study, researchers performed a literature review of analyses of major research studies looking at dietary intake and osteoarthritis. They found the following key findings:




    1. People with a high dietary protein intake and adequate calcium intake are at a moderately lower risk of hip fracture.

    1. Bone mineral density is positively associated with dietary protein intake.

    1. A combination of protein and calcium is associated with beneficial effects on calciotropic hormones, bone turnover marker, and bone mineral density.

    1. There was no association found between osteoporosis progression, fragility fractures, or altered bone strength with the acid load that comes from a balanced diet. This counteracts a popular belief that too much protein leads to “acid overload” that weakens bones.


Researchers from Geneva University Hospitals and Faculty of Medicine led the study. It was published online ahead of print on May 8, 2018, in Osteoporosis International.


Protein functions as a building block for bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. It is also a building block for enzymes, hormones, and vitamins..

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