By MedHeadlines ē Jun 11th, 2008 ē
Researchers at the University of Illinois have recently announced the findings of a study which compared the merits of a based on the currently recommended and a diet based on lean meats and dairy products. Diets high in meats and dairy have been thought to leach from the bones, diminishing their strength and threatening over time.
Working with a group of 130 study participants reporting to the University of Illinois and Pennsylvania state University, the research team randomly assigned one diet or the other to the participants, who were all and of middle age. The study called for active for the first four months of the study, followed by eight months of weight maintenance.
At the beginning of the study, each participantís bone mineral density and content were measured using scans of the entire body, the hip, and the lumbar . Comparative scans were conducted again four months into the study and at the eight- and 12-month marks.
Study participants following the lean meats and dairy diet maintained an overall stable rate of throughout the study period. The group eating according to the food pyramid experienced a decline in the of their bones over the study period. Ellen Evans, an associate professor in the kinesiology and community at the University of Illinois, attributes the stability in in the lean-meat diet group to the dietary , calcium, and fortification in the foods they were eating. Evans is a member of the University of Illinois Division of Sciences and is primary author of this study.
High- have been strongly associated with elevated levels of urinary calcium, thought to signal the leaching of minerals from the , also called demineralization. The research team cites a different mechanism for the increased calcium in the urine.
Using a process called radiolabeling, the researchers determined that the increased level of urinary calcium comes from the intestinal tractís ability to absorb calcium better on the lean meat-based diet and not a result of at all.
Details of the study can be found in the Journal of Nutritionís June issue. The study was funded by The Beef Board, the Illinois Council on Food and Agricultural Research, Kraft Foods, the National Cattlemenís Beef Association, and the US Department of Agriculture.