Comparative changes in radial-bone density of elderly female lacto-ovovegetarians and omnivores

Am J Clin Nutr. 1994 May;59(5 Suppl):1197S-1202S. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/59.5.1197S.


A 5-y prospective study of the changes in radial-bone mineral density (BMD) of elderly white women (mean age, 81 y) living in four residential communities, including 49 Seventh-day Adventist lacto-ovovegetarians and 140 omnivores, was undertaken to determine the potential effects of usual dietary calcium in preventing the loss of BMD, measured by single-photon absorptiometry, at two radial sites. Changes in BMD and other variables from baseline (1983) to follow-up (1988) were: 1) mean calcium intakes in 1988 of 996 mg/d for omnivores and 733 mg/d for lacto-ovovegetarians changed little from 1983, 2) all women lost BMD (P < 0.05) over the 5 y period, 3) the annual BMD loss rates were approximately 1% at each site, 4) BMD loss was independent of calcium intake, 5) BMD loss rates were similar in both lacto-ovovegetarians and omnivores, and 6) the greater the loss of lean body mass, the greater the BMD loss (P < 0.05).

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bone Density*
  • Calcium / administration & dosage
  • Diet*
  • Diet, Vegetarian*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Prospective Studies


  • Calcium