A nutrient-rich diet may prevent osteoporosis

A nutrient-dense diet high in vegetables, fruit and whole grains may reduce the risk for low-trauma fracture, particularly in older women, according to the results of a study reported online in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, MedScape reports.

Using people enrolled in the Canadian Multicentre Osteoporosis Study, the investigators aimed to determine the association between dietary patterns and incident fracture. They also sought to evaluate whether body mass index, bone mineral density or prior falls affected this relationship.

Factor analysis revealed two eating patterns: a nutrient-dense diet, which emphasized intake of fruit, vegetables and whole grains, as well as an energy-dense diet, which had higher intake of soft drinks, potato chips, French fries, meats and desserts.

"[A] diet high in nutrient-dense foods (vegetables, fruits, whole grains) may reduce the risk of low-trauma fracture, especially among older women," the study authors conclude. "Because older women are also at the highest risk of fracture, population measures to encourage increased intake of fruit, vegetables and whole grains have the potential to lower the population burden of fracture, including hip fracture."

According to the National Women's Health Information Center, 10 million Americans have osteoporosis and 18 million more have low bone mass, placing them at risk for the disease.