Study of the Women’s Health Initiative cohort suggests that diets high in vegetables, fruits, fish, and whole grains may have anti-inflammatory effects that could help maintain bone mass and prevent fractures in some women. The Dietary Inflammatory Index is a measure of the inflammatory potential of an individual’s diet based on nutrients consumed. Higher numbers in the index mean greater inflammatory potential of the diet, which can place more strain on our bodies. Women who consumed diets with lowest inflammatory potential lost less bone density during the six-year follow-up period than their peers who consumed diets with the most inflammatory potential, despite starting off with lower bone density overall. In other words, an anti-inflammatory diet was protective of bone health. Diets with low inflammatory potential appeared to correspond to lower risk of hip fracture among one subgroup of women (post-menopausal white women under 63 y of age).
This study suggests that women’s bone health could benefit when they choose a diet higher in beneficial fats, fruits and vegetables, whole grains and fish, along with regular physical activity, further supporting global dietary recommendations.