High dietary protein levels, even above the current recommended daily allowance (RDA), may be beneficial in reducing bone loss and hip fracture risk, according to a new expert consensus published in Osteoporosis International.
The consensus, endorsed by the European Society for Clinical and Economical Aspects of Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases (ESCEO) and the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF), provides guidance on the benefits and safety of dietary protein for bone health, based on analyses of major research studies.
It states that hip fracture risk is modestly decreased with higher dietary protein. Bone mineral density (BMD) also appears to be positively associated with protein intake. The statement stresses that the benefit seems to require adequate calcium intakes. Of note, there was no evidence that diet-derived acid load is deleterious for bone health.
The authors say insufficient dietary protein intakes may be a more severe problem than protein excess in the elderly.
They add that long-term, well-controlled randomised trials are required to further assess the influence of dietary protein intakes on fracture risk.