High-fat Diet & Osteoporosis





Some claim that osteoporosis is due to a high-fat diet.



One study shows that BMD is lower in rats fed a high-fat diet.


Their explanation:

"In vitro studies indicate that lipid products of oxidation promote osteoblastic differentiation of vascular cells and inhibit such differentiation in bone cells". (1)

Osteoblasts are the cells that induce calcium absorption precipitation in the bones.


But the decrease in BMD can very well be due to a decrease in physical activity. (like in space, due to inactivity the bones rapidly lose calcium).
A high-fat diet decreases physical activity due to a lower availability of glucose relative to available fatty acids. And to transform fatty acids into glucose (for muscle activity) the presence of glucose is essential. If not, wastes like aceto acetic acid and beta-hydroxy buteric acid originate, which inhibit further transformation of fat into glucose. Thus, a high-fat diet inhibits physical activity. A high-sugar diet increases physical activity.


More importantly:

Osteoporosis incidence does not correlate with average fat consumption per country. For example:

Osteoporosis incidence within Europe is highest in Sweden (and Finland), significant higher than in countries like France, Italy and Greece (2), but fat-consumption is much lower in Sweden and Finland;


Fat consumption in gram / cap / day, in 1998 (source FAO)


164.7      France     

152.3      Italy

151.7      Greece

130.8      Finland

124.1      Sweden

Also, a decreased BMD is very different from osteoporosis. They did not mention spongous holes, just a decrease in BMD, which is fundamentally different; especially elderly Asians can have extremely low BMD, razer-thin, but very healthy and strong bones.


(1) Parhami, F. et al, Role of lipids in osteoporosis. Arterioscler Thromb. Vasc. Biol. 2000 / 20 (11) / 2346-2348.

(2) Lips, P. ,Epidemiology and predictors of fractures associated with osteoporosis. Am.J.Med. 1997 / 103 (2A) / 3S-8S / discussion 8S-11S. , Memon, A. et al, Incidence of hip fracture in Kuweit. Int. J. Epidemiol. 1998 / (5) / 860-865. , Paspati, I. et al, Hip fracture epidemiology in Greece during 1977-1992. Calcif. Tissue Int. 1998 / 62 (6) / 542-547.

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