While many people choose to be vegetarian for a number of reasons, such as diet and health, new research shows that vegetarianism is at greater risk of fractures. This is the result of tracking and analyzing more than 50,000 British people over 18 years.
HealthDay, a US health information site, reported on the 23rd that vegetarians have a 43% higher risk of fracture than meat eaters. It wasn’t limited to meat, fish and dairy products, and vegans, who didn’t eat any eggs, but it was also high for vegetarians who didn’t eat meat and fish but ate dairy and eggs.
“Vegetarians had a 2.3 times higher risk of fractures than those who ate meat,” said Tammy Tong, a nutritional epidemiologist at Oxford University. In addition, vegetarians have a higher risk of fractures anywhere, not just leg or vertebrae than meat eaters. During the study period, more than 3,900 fractures occurred, including 566 arms, 889 wrists, 945 hips, 366 legs, 520 ankles, and 467 bone fractures such as ribs and collarbones.
“Vegetarians had lower body mass index (BMI) than meat eaters,” Tong noted. The higher the BMI, the stronger the production of the steroid hormone estrogen and the stronger the bones. Calcium and protein intake are important to bone health, and those who do not eat meat have less calcium intake.
“Vegetarians aren’t always healthy and can lack a lot of nutrients,” said Rona Sanden, director of the Department of Clinical Nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He added that these diets are associated with low weight and are a risk factor for low bone density and loss of muscle mass.
Sanden said that in addition to calcium and vitamin D, appropriate protein, vitamin K, and magnesium are needed for healthy bones. “Vegans who include milk, eggs, cheese or yogurt in their diet can get the nutrients they need, but vegans may not be able to get essential nutrients, including B vitamins, iron and zinc.”
Meat isn’t essential for a healthy diet, but sometimes you’ll get plenty of nutrients if you eat it with meat, poultry, or fish.