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No Meat, No Dairy Vegan Diet Could Lead To Weaker Bones, Study Finds

todayMarch 10, 2021 58

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And while going vegan does have a few advantages, a novel study has now revealed that following a meat and dairy-free diet could actually harm bone health.

This is according to researchers led by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment. They analysed bone health between people who are on a vegan diet versus people who are on a regular diet, involving meat and dairy products. 

The study analysed the bone density of 36 vegans and 36 non-vegans with the help of ultrasound. They discovered that on average, those who followed a vegan diet had lower ultrasound values than those consuming meat and dairy products, indicating poorer bone health. 

vegan diet bone health Getty Images

Researchers also collected samples of participant’s blood and urine in order to figure out 12 so-called biomarkers that are instrumental in bone health maintenance. The researchers found that a combination of vitamins A and B6, calcium, magnesium, selenoprotein P, omega-3 fatty acids, lysine, leucine, iodine, thyroid-stimulating hormone and α-Klotho protein were present in reports that indicated good bone health. 

In case you didn’t know, Lysine is an amino acid that is found in meat, fish, dairy and eggs. It is also found in plant-based foods like soy. What’s interesting is that our body doesn’t produce it on its own. 

Even Vitamin A is commonly found in leafy vegetables and eggs whereas one of the biggest sources of Vitamin B6 includes meat as well as some fruits and chickpeas.

Alternatively, participants with healthier bones showed lower concentrations of hormone FGF23 which’s known to regulate phosphate concentrations in plasma. 

BfR president Andreas Hensel said in a statement, “People are turning to a vegan diet not only due to compassion for animals and awareness of environmental problems but also for health benefits. Scientific evidence suggests that a vegan or vegetarian diet may protect against many chronic diseases, for example, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, or cancer.

“However, a vegan diet was found to be associated with lower bone mineral density, which is associated with higher fracture risk, compared to omnivores,” Hensel added.

This content was originally published here.

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