, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 1681-1693
Date: 17 Dec 2010

Fruit and vegetable intake and bone health in women aged 45 years and over: a systematic review

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Abstract

Summary

High fruit and vegetable intake may be associated with improved bone status among women aged ≥45 years. This is the first systematic review that specifically assessed this association and identified research gaps. The benefits of fruit and vegetables (F&V) on bone health remain unclear. Further studies are needed.

Introduction

F&V have several components that are beneficial to bones. Some studies report that high F&V intake is associated with improved bone status in middle aged and aged women; however, findings are inconsistent. The objective was to systematically review observational and interventional studies that investigated the effects of F&V intake on incidence of osteoporotic fractures, bone mineral density (BMD), and bone turnover markers (BTM) in women aged ≥45 years and to identify potential research gaps.

Methods

Electronic databases were searched, and peer-reviewed manuscripts published in English, with F&V intake as a main dietary exposure, were included. Data selection, extraction, and evaluation of risk of bias were performed independently by two reviewers.

Results

Eight studies were included. One cohort study reported cross-sectional as well as longitudinal data. There was significant between-study heterogeneity in design, definition, and amount of F&V intake, outcomes, analyses, and reporting of results. Two studies had low, two had moderate, and four had high risk of bias. Among reports with low or moderate risk of bias, two cross-sectional analyses reported positive associations between F&V intake and BMD of the forearm, lumbar spine, or total hip, whereas one randomized controlled trial and two prospective cohort analyses reported no effects. One trial reported no associations between F&V and BTM.

Conclusions

Based on limited evidence, the benefits of F&V on bone health remain unclear for women aged ≥45 years. Further studies with low risk of bias are needed.