There’s a big trend in eating that recommends you eat a high protein diet. Although this may be a good way to eat for weight loss, it may have detrimental effects on your bones.
It has been long hypothesized that too much protein may be dangerous for overall health. Some consequences of a high protein diet — consuming more than the recommended 2.2 grams per kilogram of weight — could lead to kidney function depletion and bone demineralization. It’s believed that a high protein diet causes high acid in the body, which contributes to bone demineralization.
Until now, there hasn’t been any research on the effects that high protein has on bone health.
The study included 24 exercise-trained women and lasted over the course of six months. Half of the women were the control group who consumed a balanced diet and the other half consumed a high protein diet. Diet was tracked through a food diary app and body composition was recorded using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. All the women maintained their normal level of fitness.
The researchers found no differences in bone health between the control group and the high protein group. Bone density remained constant in the lumbar T-scores and overall T-scores. There were also no changes in fat mass and lean body mass.
The results of the study contradict the original hypothesis that a high protein diet is unsafe for bone health.
Additional research is required to confirm findings along with testing high protein diets in other groups of women and persons to determine its effects on bone health.
In the meantime, unless otherwise instructed by your doctor, you can continue to follow a high protein diet. Just ensure you’re getting adequate calcium and vitamin D to further protect your bone health.