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Nutrition and bone health projects funded by the UK Food Standards Agency: Have they helped to inform public health policy?

Lookup NU author(s): Professor John Mathers, Emeritus Professor Roger Francis



The UK Food Standards Agency convened an international group of expert scientists to review the Agency-funded projects on diet and bone health in the context of developments in the field as a whole. The potential benefits of fruit and vegetables, vitamin K, early-life nutrition and vitamin D on bone health were presented and reviewed. The workshop reached two conclusions which have public health implications. First, that promoting a diet rich in fruit and vegetable intakes might be beneficial to bone health and would be very unlikely to produce adverse consequences on bone health. The mechanism(s) for any effect of fruit and vegetables remains unknown, but the results from these projects did not support the postulated acid-base balance hypothesis. Secondly, increased dietary consumption of vitamin K may contribute to bone health, possibly through its ability to increase the γ-carboxylation status of bone proteins such as osteocalcin. A supplementation trial comparing vitamin K supplementation with Ca and vitamin D showed an additional effect of vitamin K against baseline levels of bone mineral density, but the benefit was only seen at one bone site. The major research gap identified was the need to investigate vitamin D status to define deficiency, insufficiency and depletion across age and ethnic groups in relation to bone health. © 2008 The Authors.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ashwell M, Stone E, Mathers J, Barnes S, Compston J, Francis RM, Key T, Cashman KD, Cooper C, Khaw KT, Lanham-New S, Macdonald H, Prentice A, Shearer M, Stephen A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Journal of Nutrition

Year: 2008

Volume: 99

Issue: 1

Pages: 198-205

Date deposited: 25/03/2011

ISSN (print): 0007-1145

ISSN (electronic): 1475-2662

Publisher: Cambridge University Press


DOI: 10.1017/S0007114507771891

PubMed id: 18086331


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Funder referenceFunder name
MC_U147585819Medical Research Council
MC_U105960371Medical Research Council
MC_U105960384Medical Research Council
U.1059.00.017(60371)Medical Research Council
U.1475.00.003.00010.02 (85819)Medical Research Council