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.