Food Groups and Bone Health

  • Andrea L. DarlingEmail author
  • Susan A. Lanham-New
Part of the Nutrition and Health book series (NH)


It is important to study the effects of food groups and whole foods on bone health. This is because nutrients may interact in a synergistic manner to influence bone health and osteoporosis risk. This whole diet and food based approach has yielded many insights into the relationship between nutrition and bone health. Cohort and cross-sectional data suggest that diets that are higher in fruit, vegetables, milk and cereal are associated with increased bone mass as compared with diets high in processed and snack foods. Consumption of milk and other dairy products appears to have beneficial effects on building bone mass in childhood and adolescence, and may also help offset bone loss after the menopause. However, more research is required to assess whether milk and dairy product consumption can prevent fractures in later life. The effects of veganism and vegetarianism on bone health, as compared with omnivorous diets, are not yet clear, with conflicting results being found from different research studies. Some research suggests that diets rich in fruit and vegetables may benefit bone health via increased physiological alkalinity. However, conflicting results have been found from recent intervention trials that have attempted to assess the effect of fruit and vegetable supplementation on bone. Alcohol, caffeine and soda intakes have the potential to influence bone health. Currently there is evidence that alcohol may be beneficial to bone in moderation, but toxic to bone at higher doses. There is also concern about the potential negative effects of soda on bone health. However, data are difficult to interpret due to the strong interactions between soda intake and lifestyle factors that are detrimental to bone health.


Diet Bone Protein Calcium Dairy products Vegetarianism Dietary acidity Food groups Fruit Vegetable Milk Cereal Dairy Alkaline Alcohol Caffeine Soda 


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Department of Nutritional SciencesSchool of Biosciences and Medicine, University of SurreyGuildfordUK

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