Current Osteoporosis Reports

, Volume 15, Issue 6, pp 571–576 | Cite as

High Dietary Protein Intake and Protein-Related Acid Load on Bone Health

  • Jay J. CaoEmail author
Nutrition, Exercise and Lifestyle in Osteoporosis (S Shapses and J Lappe, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Nutrition, Exercise, and Lifestyle in Osteoporosis


Purpose of Review

Consumption of high-protein diets is increasingly popular due to the benefits of protein on preserving lean mass and controlling appetite and satiety. The paper is to review recent clinical research assessing dietary protein on calcium metabolism and bone health.

Recent Findings

Epidemiological studies show that long-term, high-protein intake is positively associated with bone mineral density and reduced risk of bone fracture incidence. Short-term interventional studies demonstrate that a high-protein diet does not negatively affect calcium homeostasis. Existing evidence supports that the negative effects of the acid load of protein on urinary calcium excretion are offset by the beneficial skeletal effects of high-protein intake.


Future research should focus on the role and the degree of contribution of other dietary and physiological factors, such as intake of fruits and vegetables, in reducing the acid load and further enhancing the anabolic effects of protein on the musculoskeletal system.


Dietary protein Acid load Calcium homeostasis Bone health 



This work was supported by the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) program “Food Factors to Prevent Obesity and Related Diseases” Current Research Information System (CRIS) no. 3062-51,000-053-00D, as part of the authors’ official duties.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The author declares that there is no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Copyright information

© US Government (outside the USA) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.USDA, Agricultural Research ServiceGrand Forks Human Nutrition Research CenterGrand ForksUSA
  2. 2.USDA ARS Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research CenterGrand ForksUSA

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