Submitted to: International Conference on Osteoporosis
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/15/2010
Publication Date: 11/1/2010
Citation: Cao, J.J. 2010. Dietary protein, calcium metabolism and bone health in humans. International Conference on Osteoporosis. Abstract No. HT6. p.75. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Protein is the major structural constituent of bone (50% by volume). But it is also a major source of metabolic acid, especially protein from animal sources because it contains sulfur amino acids that generate sulfuric acid. Increased potential renal acid load has been closely associated with increased urinary calcium excretion. However, recent findings suggest that bone is not the source of the extra calcium found in urine and whole body calcium balance is not negatively affected by the increased acid load. Contrary to the supposed detrimental effect of protein, the majority of epidemiological studies have shown that long-term high protein intake increases bone mineral density and reduces bone fracture incidence. The beneficial effects of protein such as increasing intestinal calcium absorption and concentrations of IGF-I in blood while lowering serum parathyroid hormone levels sufficiently offset any negative effects of the acid load of protein on bone health. Based on recent findings, consuming protein higher than current Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein is beneficial to calcium utilization and bone health. A high protein diet with adequate calcium and fruits and vegetables is important for bone health and osteoporosis prevention.