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Supplements for Vegan Women

Taking both calcium and vitamin D can improve bone health.

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A graphic of supplements for vegan women

There may be good reason to use supplements for vegan women. There’s a 55% greater risk for hip fracture for white vegan women close to or of menopausal age. That’s compared with their counterparts on a nonvegan diet.

This higher chance of suffering a fracture is removed if the women supplement their diets with both calcium and vitamin D (an average of 660 mg/calcium/d and 540 IU/vit D/d), according to a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The bone supplement link was uncovered using data from individuals enrolled in the Adventist Health Study 2, a large National Cancer Institute funded cohort study aimed at examining the relationship between lifestyle and health outcomes.

For men ages 45 years or older, researchers did not find an association between diet pattern and hip fracture risk, so supplementation did not make a difference. Anatomical and hormonal differences between the sexes could be the reason for the differences in bone strength.

While we need more data on nonwhite and younger demographics, it seems appropriate to recommend supplements for vegan women, especially older vegan women, to increase these two bone-strengthening nutrients. Taking just one may not have the same impact.

See also: Nutritional Quality of Vegan Food

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Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

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