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Osteoporosis is a major public health concern in Saudi Arabia's aging population. There is particularly limited information on how diet affects bone loss in this ethnic group. The purpose of this study was to examine the association between dietary calcium (Ca) intake and osteoporosis risk in Saudi adults. A total of 1950 patients (416 males and 1534 females) with known risk factors for osteoporosis participated in this cross-sectional study. A short questionnaire (CaQ) was used to assess dietary Ca intakes in patients attending tertiary hospitals in Riyadh City. The prevalence of osteoporosis was 21.3% and was more common in females (93.5%). Patients with osteoporosis were older (p < 0.001) and had lower BMI (p < 0.001). Results showed that the overall mean Ca intake was only 445.1 mg/day (recommended dietary intake of 1300 mg/day). Tea intake (OR = 0.8 95%CI: 0.7-1.0; p = 0.02) and consumption of fish and eggs (OR = 0.9 95%CI: 0.8-1.0; p = 0.01) were significantly associated with a lower risk of osteoporosis. Furthermore, consumption of biscuits, cake and bread slices were significantly associated with higher incidence of osteoporosis (OR = 1.3 95%CI: 1.0-1.5; p = 0.02). In conclusion, extremely low dietary Ca intake was observed among Saudi adults already at risk of osteoporosis. A balanced diet including high amount of Ca, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids accompanied by limiting consumption of foods high in saturated fats and glycemic index may be helpful in reducing osteoporosis risk in the Saudi adult population.


Nasser M Al-Daghri, Syed Danish Hussain, Abdullah M Alnaami, Naji Aljohani, Shaun Sabico. Dietary Calcium Intake and Osteoporosis Risk in Arab Adults. Nutrients. 2023 Jun 21;15(13)

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PMID: 37447157

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