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- Throughout the life cycle the skeleton requires optimum development and maintenance of its integrity to prevent fracture.
- Bones break because the loads placed on them exceed the ability of the bone to absorb the energy involved.
- It is now estimated that one in three women and one in twelve men older than 55 years will suffer from osteoporosis in their lifetime.
- Diet plays an important role in the acquisition and maintenance of bone mass.
- The influence of diet on bone begins in childhood; even maternal diet can influence bone mass in the offspring.
- A good general nutritional status and adequate dietary protein, calcium, vitamin D, fruits, and vegetables have a positive influence on bone health, while a high caloric diet and heavy alcohol consumption have been associated with lower bone mass and higher rates of fracture.
- The evidence for a role of other minerals and vitamins in skeletal health is not as strong, but recent evidence suggests that vitamins C and K might also have an effect on bone.