Fruit and vegetable intakes and bone mineral status: a cross-sectional study in 5 age and sex cohorts

Celia J. Prynne, Gita D. Mishra, Maria A. O'Connell, Graciela Muniz, M. Ann Laskey, Liya Yan, Ann Prentice, Fiona Ginty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

225 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Evidence is increasing for positive effects of fruit and vegetable intakes on bone health. However, most of the studies to date were conducted in adults, and few reports included adolescents.
Objective: We explored the association between bone mineral status and fruit and vegetable intakes in adolescent boys and girls (aged 16-18 y), young women (aged 23-37 y), and older men and women (aged 60-83 y).
Design: Bone mineral measurements of the whole body, hip, and spine were made in all subjects by using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Information on health and lifestyle and physical activity was obtained by questionnaire. Fruit, vegetable, and nutrient intakes were ascertained from 7-d food diaries.
Results: In adolescent boys and girls and older women, significant positive associations were observed between spine size-adjusted bone mineral content (SA-BMC) and fruit intake. In boys only, femoral neck SA-BMC was also significantly and positively associated with the intakes of both fruit and dietary vitamin C. No significant associations were found in the young women or older men, or between bone measurements and intake of vegetables alone (after adjustments) in any of the groups.
Conclusions: Higher fruit and vegetable intakes may have positive effects on bone mineral status in both younger and older age groups, especially at the spine and femoral neck. The specific mechanisms remain to be ascertained, but vitamin C, other fruit-specific antioxidants, and lifestyle may play a role.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1420-1428
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006


  • Fruit and vegetables
  • bone mineral content
  • bone mineral density
  • adolescents
  • adults

Cite this