People following meatless diet may be at higher risk of bone fractures
People following meatless diet may be at higher risk of bone fractures

While following a vegetarian diet can be healthy, it has to be ensured that enough important nutrients like calcium, B12 vitamin, zinc, iron are included in the diet as it can increase the risk of bone fractures for people following a meatless diet.

According to a study published in the open-access journal of BMC (BIOMED CENTRAL), people who follow a vegan diet, vegetarians, and people who ate fish but not meat lacked calcium and protein required by the body and had a 43 per cent higher risk of bone fractures (total) as well as higher risks of site-specific fractures of the hips, legs, and vertebrae, compared with people who ate meat.

A team of researchers at the Universities of Oxford and Bristol, UK analysed data from nearly 55,000 people in the EPIC-Oxford study, who were recruited between 1993 and 2001, many of whom do not eat meat.

They were observed over a period of time to understand how certain factors like diet may affect certain outcomes including fracture risk.

While assembling the whole observations, the researchers reported total of 3,941 fractures, including 566 arms, 889 wrists, 945 hips, 366 legs, 520 ankles, and 467 fractures at other main sites (clavicle, ribs and vertebrae).

On the whole, more studies would be required including different populations from different regions, as well as cohorts with a certain proportion of men and women to explore possible differences causing the risk.