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    High-protein diets reduce bone loss

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Thursday, October 14, 2010 7:17 am Email this article
    For years, one of the arguments given against high-protein diets was that they would cause a loss of bone mass. However, this is not true according to a recent study from Denmark.

    Sixty-five overweight and obese people ate one of two diets: either a high-protein diet containing an average of 108 grams of protein per day or an average of 70 grams of protein per day.

    The high-protein diet contained 25 percent of calories as protein, whereas the low-protein diet contained 12 percent of calories as protein.

    Both diets contained 30 percent of calories as fat.

    Weight Loss: 19.6 Lbs Vs 11.2 Lbs

    After six months, weight loss was greater in the high-protein group than the low-protein group. The high-protein group lost 19.6 pounds compared to 11.2 pounds for the low-protein group.

    Bone Loss: 111 Grams Vs 85 Grams (4% VS 3%)

    The amount of bone mineral content decreased by 111 grams in the high-protein group versus a decrease of 85 grams in the low-protein group, however, the difference between the groups was not significantly different.

    The researchers found that the loss of bone was more correlated with fat loss than with weight loss.

    Bone Loss 45 Grams Greater In Low-Protein Group After Adjusting For Fat Loss

    After adjusting for the difference in fat loss, they found that the low-protein group actually lost 45 grams more bone than the high-protein group.

    Conclusion: High-Protein Diet Reduces Bone Loss

    This suggests that a high-protein diet helps to protect against bone loss rather than cause bone loss as previously expected.

    “[H]igh-protein intake was associated with a diminished loss of [bone mineral content],” the researchers concluded.


    Skov A, Haulrik N, Toubro S, Molgaard C, Astrup A. Effect of protein intake on bone mineralization during weight loss: a 6-month trial. Obes Res. 2002 Jun, 10(6):432-38.

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