Healthy diets for preventing or delaying bone loss during adulthood

John J.B. Anderson (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Publication date: 18 May 2012



Healthy diets need to be coupled with an active lifestyle and other healthy behaviors to achieve and maintain bone health across the life cycle. The purpose of this paper is to focus on several nutrients that aid skeletal development in early life and help promote healthy bone and prevent or delay osteoporosis in late life in both males and females.


The paper is a brief review of recent findings linking diet and bone health.


Skeletons of both females and males benefit from reasonably sufficient intakes of calcium, phosphate, vitamin D, and other bone‐related nutrients and phytochemicals, but excessive amounts, especially via supplements, may not help bone and they may even have adverse effects, such as promoting arterial calcification.

Research limitations/implications

Trials are needed to establish with certainty that calcium intakes beyond the recommended intakes do not protect against hip and vertebral fractures and may contribute to arterial calcification.


Maintaining bone health, especially late in life, helps prevent or delay hip fractures, devastating events that are life threatening, especially in women, but excessive calcium may not be healthful.



Anderson, J. (2012), "Healthy diets for preventing or delaying bone loss during adulthood", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 42 No. 3, pp. 189-195.

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Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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