More than 10 million people in the United States have osteoporosis and more than 2 million osteoporotic fractures occur each year.1 Women are at a higher risk of osteoporosis and account for approximately 75% of all cases. Men however are at a higher risk of dying of a hip fracture should they sustain one.2

Chronic inflammation is believed to play a role in aging,3 cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and cancer.4,5 Growing evidence indicates that osteoporosis is also, in part, a result of chronic low-grade inflammation.6 Pro-inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-6, interleukin-1 and tumor necrosis factor alpha promote accelerated bone loss.7 Fruits and vegetables are rich sources of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds, and diets rich in fruits and vegetables are associated with both increased bone mass and improved bone health in older populations.8

There is emerging evidence that the human microbiome plays a significant role in many dimensions of health, including brain function, immune response, levels of inflammation, body weight, and cancer risk.9 The gut microbiome has also been shown to influence bone health.10

Vegetarians and vegans are more likely to have low intake of vitamin D11, calcium, vitamin B12, and omega-3 fatty acids. Vegetarian sources of zinc are also less bioavailable. A number of studies have shown that a vegetarian, and particularly a vegan, diet may increase the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures.12 An integrative approach to therapy includes supplementation with calcium13, vitamin D.14

At Rocky Mountain Regenerative Medicine, our in-depth understanding of the whole body allows us to manage conditions like osteoporosis through means that address other inflammatory conditions as well.

  1. N.C. Wright, A.C. Looker, K.G. Saag, et al.: The recent prevalence of osteoporosis and low bone mass in the United States based on bone mineral density at the femoral neck or lumbar spine. J Bone Miner Res. 29 (11):2520-2526 2014
  2. T. Wilsgaard, N. Emaus, L.A. Ahmed, et al.: Lifestyle impact on lifetime bone loss in women and men: the Tromso Study. Am J Epidemiol. 169 (7):877-886 2009
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  8. C.J. Prynne, G. D Mishra, M.A. O’Connell, et al.: Fruit and vegetable intakes and bone mineral status: a cross-sectional study in 5 age and sex cohorts. Am J Clin Nutr. 83(6):1420-1428 2006
  9. C. Owyang, G.D. Wu: The gut microbiome in health and disease. Gastroenterology.146 (6):1433-1436 2014
  10. C.M. Weaver: Diet, Gut Microbiome, and Bone Health. Curr Osteoporos Rep. 13(2):125-130 2015
  11. F.L. Crowe, M. Steur, N.E. Allen, P.N. Appleby, R.C. Travis, T.J. Key: Plasma concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in meat eaters, fish eaters, vegetarians and vegans: results from the EPIC-Oxford study. Public Health Nutr. 14 (2):340-346 201120854716
  12. K.L. Tucker: Vegetarian diets and bone status. Am J Clin Nutr. 100 (Suppl 1):329S-335S 2014
  13. H.A. Bischoff-Ferrari, B. Dawson-Hughes, J.A. Baron, et al.: Calcium intake and hip fracture risk in men and women: a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies and randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 86 (6):1780-1790 2007
  14. F.D. Shuler, T. Schlierf, M. Wingate: Preventing falls with vitamin D. W V Med J. 110(3):10-12 2014
  15. A.P. Simopoulos: Evolutionary Aspects of Diet: the Omega-6/Omega-3 Ratio and the Brain. Mol Neurobiol. 44 (2):203-215 2011