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Veggies, fruit could strengthen bones
Latest Updated by 2006-11-01 11:03:17

Remember your mum always telling you to eat your fruit and greens? She may have had a point.

A high intake of such food may help you build stronger bones and prevent osteoporosis, which is a debilitating disease that weakens bones and increases the risk of bone fractures.

An observational study of 500 people found a potential link between a high intake of fruit and vegetables and bone mineral status in both young and old people, especially in the spine and the joint connecting the hip and thigh bones, researchers reported in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The journal also included an editorial by a nutrition expert from the Center for Nutrition and Food Safety at the University of Surrey in England. Based on the findings, Susan Lanham-New noted that older women who doubled their fruit intake gained "an impressive" 5 percent of bone mineral content in their spine.

The higher our bone mineral status, the denser and healthier our bones are, thus lowering the risk of developing osteoporosis.

Researchers studied the link between bone mineral status and fruit and vegetable intake in 237 boys and girls aged 16 to 18; 120 women aged 23 to 37; and 143 elderly men and women aged 60 to 83.

Louisa Zhang, nutrition consultant and secretary of the Osteoporosis Society (Singapore), said of the study: "It does not imply eating fruit and vegetables will prevent osteoporosis. A lot more work needs to be done. Or, better still, run trials on Asians."

Citing a previous study that also found a positive link between fruit and vegetable intake and bone density in men and women, she said that the exact beneficial components of fruit and vegetables are still to be studied and clarified.

Osteoporosis will become an increasingly important public health problem across Asia due to the rapidly-ageing population, doctors say. The disease usually strikes without warning, which is why it is also known as the "silent epidemic." To prevent it from creeping up on you, do weight-bearing exercises, quit smoking and drinking alcohol, eat healthily and get enough calcium and Vitamin D.

Editor: Donald

By: Source:Szdaily web edition
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