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Myth 2 A high-protein diet increases your risk of osteoporosis

It’s commonly said that a high-protein diet can contribute to osteoporosis, a loss in bone mineral density. The theory behind this states that a high-protein diet increases the acid in your body, causing calcium to get leached out of your bones to neutralize the acid. Sure, why not?

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Fortunately, long-term studies examining the effects of protein intake and bone loss don’t support these claims. In fact, in one nine-week study, in which carbohydrates were replaced with meat (increasing daily protein intake dramatically), hormones known to promote bone health, such as IGF-1, actually increased!

A review article published in 2001 also found no evidence that increased protein intake is harmful to your bones. If anything, the evidence points to a higher protein intake improving bone health.

“This is an important ‘myth’ that needed to be busted,” says Dr. Rob Wildman, chief science officer for Dymatize Nutrition. “This misinformation leads to many people unnecessarily limiting protein in their diet, especially older folks who clearly need to take in relatively more protein.”

There are a handful of other studies showing that protein can improve bone mineral density, lower the risk of fractures, and increase IGF-1 and lean mass.5-7 We can put this myth to rest.

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