Age-related bone loss is a major public health problem. This cross-sectional study examined the association between the dietary intake of carotenoids and bone mineral density (BMD). Data from 8022 subjects (3763 males and 4259 females) aged 30-75 years included in the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2008-2011) were analyzed. BMD was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Intake of carotenoids was estimated using 24-h dietary recall. In multiple linear analysis, after adjusting for covariates, lutein + zeaxanthin and β-cryptoxanthin intake was positively associated with total hip BMD in males and premenopausal women respectively, while β-carotene intake was positively correlated with femoral neck, total hip, and whole-body BMD in postmenopausal women. Postmenopausal women in the highest quintile of daily β-carotene intake, showed a lower risk of osteopenia at the lumbar spine (odds ratio (OR): 0.35, 95% CI: 0.16-0.79, P for trend = 0.009) than those in the lowest quintile, after adjusting for covariates. Daily β-cryptoxanthin intake was significantly associated with a lower risk of osteopenia at the total hip (OR per 1 mg/day increase: 0.76; 95% CI: 0.59-0.97), and lumbar spine (OR per 1 mg/day increase: 0.79; 95% CI: 0.70-0.89) in postmenopausal women. These results suggest that the dietary intake of β-carotene and β-cryptoxanthin may have a positive effect on bone health.
Keywords: bone mineral density; postmenopausal female; β-carotene; β-cryptoxanthin.