home » blog »

More support for the link between vegetables and good bone health

By Dr. Susan E. Brown, PhD

For years at the Center for Better Bones, we have been touting the bone-preserving benefits of a diet high in alkalizing fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and spices. This important component of the Alkaline for Life® diet is a great way to create abundant bone-protecting alkaline reserves. And there are fantastic side benefits, too, because this wholesome eating pattern also provides an array of vital antioxidants, including essential carotenoids from yellow, orange, and even some green vegetables and fruits. Recent research confirms that these types of potent antioxidants reduce inflammation and, as a result, substantially reduce fracture risk.

A 2009 study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research reports on the results of a 17-year follow-up study of nearly 1,000 men and women (average age: 75). Researchers correlated carotenoid intake with incidence of hip and non-vertebral fracture. Of the people they studied, those with the highest total carotenoid intake had a reduced risk of hip fracture compared to individuals with lower intakes of carotenoids. And even better, individuals with higher intakes of a specific carotenoid — lycopene — also had a reduced risk of both hip and all non-vertebral fractures. Note that lycopene content is particularly high in tomatoes and tomato products, and has been found to be generally protective against other disorders including prostate cancer.

So take it from these researchers: make sure to eat a balanced diet with plenty of carotenoid-rich fruits and veggies. They’re good for just about every aspect of your health.

Reference: Sahni, S, Hannan, MT, Blumberg, J, et al. 2009. Protective effect of total carotenoid and lycopene intake on the risk of hip fracture: A 17-year follow-up from the Framingham Osteoporosis Study. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 24(6):1086-1094.


You can try Dr. Brown’s comprehensive supplements in her at-home bone health program, developed with Women's Health Network. Get her exclusive formulations along with her detailed lifestyle and diet guidance, plus telephone support whenever you need it. Learn more about the Better Bones Health Package.

We created the Better Bones blog as our forum to express opinions and educate the public about natural means of supporting and improving bone health and overall wellness. As part of this forum, we sometimes discuss medical issues and medications, and their effects on bone health in general. However, we cannot advise readers about specific medical issues in this forum. If you wish to obtain advice from Susan E. Brown, PhD, about your specific bone health and nutritional concerns, please visit our Consultations page. Other specific medical questions should be referred to your healthcare provider.


November 8. 2009 15:15

Hi KCannon,
Sorry we missed your earlier comment.  The study was done with dried plums,so I do not know if fresh fruit will work as well.  I am glad to hear about your lipid improvements.  I have not seen studies looking at this, but it makes sense with the high anti-oxidant and phytonutrient content of prunes.   I'll keep my eye out for these changes in others.  Keep up the good work and I hope you tell your friends of my e-mail blog. I want to share my bone health insights with many more women. Susan Brown  

Susan Brown

January 26. 2010 21:23

Hi Dr. Brown,

As I told you in my previous comment to your post titled, "Who fractures? Repeat versus first fracture in Canada, 2009", I am following your blog for a school assignment.

You KCannon to mention your blogs to her friends and I must tell you that all my classmates, my mentor, my friends, and family member have been notified by me.  I first came across your web site when I as told you in another comment about the DEXA Bone density test, I was wrongly with osteoporosis. I kept your very informative web site as one of my favorites and then realized that it was a great choice for my blog assignment for my class in my BSN program.

Again thank you very much; your posts have been keeping me well informed and answered many of my concerns and questions.

Irma Velasquez-Kressner

Add comment


Recent Posts