Bone mass, geometry and microstructure, and bony tissue material level properties determine bone strength, hence the resistance to fracture. At a given age, all these variables are the consequence of the amount accumulated and of the structure developed during growth, up to the so-called peak bone mass, and of the bone loss and microstructure degradation occurring later in life. Genetic factors primarily contribute to the variance of the determinants of bone strength. Nutritional intakes are environmental factors that influence both processes, either directly by modifying modelling and remodelling, or indirectly through changes in calcitropic hormone secretion and action. Some effects of nutrition on the offspring bone could take place during foetal life. There are interplays between genetic factors, nutritional intakes and physical exercise. Among the nutrients, sufficient dietary intakes of calcium and protein are necessary for bone health in childhood and adolescence as well as later in life.
Keywords: bone growth; bone loss; bone mineral density; fracture; menopause; nutrition; oldest old; osteoporosis.
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