Osteoporosis is a major health problem in men and women in this country and the incidence of
this disease is rising. We think that environmental factors such as nutrition may play a
role in the increasing prevalence of osteoporosis. In particular, we think that a diet that
is too low in protein may be contributing to bone loss. The primary purpose of this study
is to compare the long-term impact of a low protein diet on measures of bone and calcium
The protocol is composed of a 9.5-week study, consisting of a 3-week adjustment period
followed by a 6.5-week experimental period. During the adjustment period, subjects consume
a well-balanced lead-in diet designed to stabilize baseline Ca homeostasis. In the
subsequent experimental period, subjects will consume the experimental diet containing 0.7 g
protein/kg, 800-1200 mg phosphorus, 800 mg calcium and 2300 mg sodium. During days -6 to -1
of the adjustment diet, 5-10 and days 40-45 of the experimental period, we will measure Ca
absorption and kinetics. Weekly assessments of Ca homeostasis will be done using our
standard measures of calcitropic hormones, markers of bone turnover, and urine and serum
- Healthy Asian or Caucasian women between the ages of 20-40 years.
- Diseases or medical conditions: gastrointestinal diseases, osteoporosis, diabetes,
hypertension, liver disease, thyroid disorders, kidney disease, kidney stones,
cancer, heart disease, eating disorders, obesity, hypogonadism , amenorrhea,
oligomenorrhea, abnormal serum FSH or estradiol levels, birth control medication, or
other hormone-altering medications, pregnancy.
- Lifestyle: smoking, excessive exercise (although moderate exercise is allowed),
prescription medications known to influence vitamin D or calcium metabolism or
gastric acid, excessive body weight change during the past 6 months, food allergies,
unusual eating habits, or medically prescribed diets.
- Also excluded are prisoners and individuals who are cognitively impaired.