Dietary carotenoid intake as a predictor of bone mineral density

Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2003;12(4):467-73.


Our understanding of the influence of nutrition on bone health is limited because most studies concentrate on the role of calcium and protein, while other nutrients receive less attention. Recent evidence shows a positive link between fruit and vegetable consumption and bone health. In the present study, the relationships of dietary intakes of preformed retinol and carotenoids, one group of phytonutrients abundant in fruit and vegetables, were examined in an Anglo-Celtic Australian population of 68 men and 137 women. Bone mass of total body and lumbar spine were positively related to lycopene intake in men, and to lycopene and lutein/zeaxanthin intake in premenopausal women. In addition, a positive association of lumbar spine bone mass with dietary beta-carotene intake was observed in postmenopausal women. No relationship was found between dietary retinol intake and bone mineral status. The finding of the present study suggests a beneficial effect of fruit and vegetable consumption, as indicated by dietary carotenoid intake, on bone health, possibly via an antioxidant mechanism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage*
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Bone Density / drug effects*
  • Bone Density / physiology
  • Carotenoids / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / drug effects
  • Lutein / administration & dosage
  • Lycopene
  • Male
  • Menopause / drug effects
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Nutritional Status
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Reference Values
  • Vitamin A / administration & dosage
  • Xanthophylls
  • Zeaxanthins
  • beta Carotene / administration & dosage
  • beta Carotene / analogs & derivatives


  • Antioxidants
  • Xanthophylls
  • Zeaxanthins
  • beta Carotene
  • Vitamin A
  • Carotenoids
  • Lycopene
  • Lutein