Dietary protein intake and bone health

J Frailty Sarcopenia Falls. 2020 Mar 1;5(1):1-5. doi: 10.22540/JFSF-05-001. eCollection 2020 Mar.


Considerable attention has recently focused on dietary protein's role in the mature skeleton. The aim was to conduct a systematic review evaluating the effects of dietary protein intake alone on bone health measures in adults (Bone Mineral Density (BMD) and bone biomarkers. Searches across 3 databases were conducted through February 2019 including randomized controlled trials (RCT's) and prospective cohort studies examining the effects of ''high versus low'' protein intake. Studies in various populations are currently limited, varying doses and dietary compositions were used or prescribed, respectively, and there was medium risk of bias among the RCTs and the cohort studies examined. Moderate evidence suggested that higher protein intake may have protective effect on lumbar spine (LS) bone mineral density (BMD) compared with lower protein intake but no effect on total hip (TH), femoral neck (FN), or total body BMD or bone biomarkers. Current evidence shows no adv erse effects of higher protein intakes. Although there were positive trends on BMD at most bone cites, only the LS showed moderate evidence to support benefits of higher protein intake. Studies were heterogeneous. High-quality, long-term studies are needed to clarify dietary protein's role in bone health.

Keywords: Bone biomarkers; Bone health; Bone mineral density; Dietary protein.

Publication types

  • Review