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    Scientific evidence suggests that a vegan diet might be associated with impaired bone health. Therefore, a cross-sectional study (n = 36 vegans, n = 36 omnivores) was used to investigate the associations of veganism with calcaneal quantitative ultrasound (QUS) measurements, along with the investigation of differences in the concentrations of nutrition- and bone-related biomarkers between vegans and omnivores. This study revealed lower levels in the QUS parameters in vegans compared to omnivores, e.g., broadband ultrasound attenuation (vegans: 111.8 ± 10.7 dB/MHz, omnivores: 118.0 ± 10.8 dB/MHz, p = 0.02). Vegans had lower levels of vitamin A, B2, lysine, zinc, selenoprotein P, n-3 fatty acids, urinary iodine, and calcium levels, while the concentrations of vitamin K1, folate, and glutamine were higher in vegans compared to omnivores. Applying a reduced rank regression, 12 out of the 28 biomarkers were identified to contribute most to bone health, i.e., lysine, urinary iodine, thyroid-stimulating hormone, selenoprotein P, vitamin A, leucine, α-klotho, n-3 fatty acids, urinary calcium/magnesium, vitamin B6, and FGF23. All QUS parameters increased across the tertiles of the pattern score. The study provides evidence of lower bone health in vegans compared to omnivores, additionally revealing a combination of nutrition-related biomarkers, which may contribute to bone health. Further studies are needed to confirm these findings.


    Juliane Menzel, Klaus Abraham, Gabriele I Stangl, Per Magne Ueland, Rima Obeid, Matthias B Schulze, Isabelle Herter-Aeberli, Tanja Schwerdtle, Cornelia Weikert. Vegan Diet and Bone Health-Results from the Cross-Sectional RBVD Study. Nutrients. 2021 Feb 21;13(2)

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    PMID: 33669942

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