Vegans, vegetarians, and pescetarians are at increased risk for bone fractures

Vegans, vegetarians and pescetarians are at increased risk of fractures in bones throughout the body, according to a study published in the journal "BMC Medicine". The research details that vegans, with an average consumption of calcium and protein below that of people who eat meat, have 43% more chances of fractures, with a specific higher risk in the hips, legs and legs. vertebrae.

As for vegetarians and pescetarians, who consume certain animal products but not meat, they also present a greater risk of fractures, although the risk is partially reduced based on body mass index, calcium and protein intake, the study highlighted.

To reach these conclusions, a team of researchers from the British universities of Oxford and Bristol have analyzed data from 54,898 men and women living in the United Kingdom, recruited to follow their diet and long-term health status between 1993 and 2001.

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Among the participants, 29,380 ate meat, 8,037 ate fish but no meat, 15,499 were vegetarians, and 1,982 were vegans. Their eating habits were analyzed at the time they were recruited for the study and updated again in 2010. During the average of 18 years that each of them were observed, a total of 3,941 fractures were recorded, including 566 in arms, 889 in wrists, 945 in hips, 366 in legs, 520 in ankles and 467 in the clavicle, ribs or vertebrae.

The authors did not observe significant differences in the risk of fractures in the arms, wrists or ankles once their body mass index was taken into account, although they did find a higher risk for the legs, clavicle, ribs and vertebrae among those who they did not eat meat.

"Previous studies have shown that low body mass indexes are associated with more hip fractures, while a diet low in calcium and protein is linked to poorer bone health," said Tammy Tong, epidemiologist in the journal "BMC Medicine." Oxford nutritionist.

At the same time, Tong stressed that "Well-balanced, predominantly plant-based diets can result in improved nutrient levels and have been associated with lower risks of certain diseases, including heart problems and diabetes."

"Individuals should consider the benefits and risks of a diet and ensure that they have adequate levels of calcium and protein and maintain a healthy body mass index, neither overweight nor underweight," added the specialist.