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A study done by researchers at Ohio State University suggests that an anti-inflammatory diet rich in fruit, vegetables, whole grains and fish may keep bones healthy and reduce fractures in some women.
Researchers compared levels of inflammatory diet elements to bone mineral density, finding new associations between bone health and diet. The study, which appeared in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, found that Women with more anti-inflammatory diets lost less bone density over a six-year period than those with diets high in inflammatory foods.
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The dietary analysis was based on a scoring system called the Dietary Inflammatory Index, and the women who lost the least bone density actually started off with lower bone density overall. The lower starting bone density may have been because women with healthier diets are more likely to have smaller frames, according to Tanya Orchard, leader of the study and assistant professor of human nutrition at Ohio State. Therefore, their bones don’t need to support as much weight.
Overall, these new findings support the theory that the factors that increase inflammation can increase an individual’s risk of osteoporosis.
“This suggests that as women age, healthy diets are impacting their bones,” Orchard said. “I think this gives us yet another reason to support the recommendations for a healthy diet in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.”