Dietary prevention of osteoporosis – recommendations and controversies

Klinika Pediatrii i Zaburzeń Rozwoju Dzieci i Młodzieży, Uniwersytet Medyczny w Białymstoku.
Kierownik Kliniki: prof. dr hab. n. med. Janina Piotrowska-Jastrzębska
Adres do korespondencji: Klinika Pediatrii i Zaburzeń Rozwoju Dzieci i Młodzieży, Uniwersytet Medyczny w Białymstoku,
ul. Waszyngtona 17, 15-274 Białystok, tel.: 85 745 06 22, e-mail:
Praca finansowana ze środków własnych

Pediatr Med rodz Vol 9 Numer 4, p. 350–356

Osteoporosis is a systemic metabolic disease characterized by loss of bone mass and its impaired microarchitecture, resulting in an increased risk of fragility fracture. Epidemiological data indicate an increase in the incidence of osteoporotic fractures worldwide. The high cost of health, social and economic treatment of osteoporosis requires seeking effective methods of prevention. Considering the multifactorial aetiology of osteoporosis, to the well documented risk factors belong: age, gender, ethnogenetic factors, current or history of chronic disease, steroid therapy and lifestyle. The modifying lifestyle factors as nutrition and physical activity are the potential tools for effective primary prevention of osteoporosis addressed to the whole of society, with particular emphasis on the paediatric population. The results of previous studies evaluating the effect of diet on the reduction of osteoporotic fractures are ambiguous, difficult to interpret and translate into specific dietary recommendations. Although there is a lot of evidence of beneficial effects on skeletal metabolism due to intake of various nutrients (macro- and micronutrients, vitamins D, K and C, isoflavones, plant, polyunsaturated fatty acids omega-3), but both the intake assessment of these nutrients and the monitoring their impact on bone remains extremely difficult in practice. Beneficial role of calcium and vitamin D in mineral homeostasis and bone metabolism has been thoroughly proven, however, further studies are needed, particularly prospective and randomized, in order to determine the optimal calcium intake, dose, bioavailability and nutrient sources, and indications for preventive supplementation. Due to the wide‑spread deficit and insufficient dietary intake of vitamin D, in the light of current guidelines for osteoporosis prevention, the entire population should receive supplementation of vitamin D in the doses strictly dependent on age, sex and season.

Keywords: diet, prophylaxis, osteoporosis, recommendations, calcium, supplementation of vitamin D, controversies