O'Keefe JH, Bergman N, Carrera-Bastos P, Fontes-Villalba M, Dinicolantonio JJ, Cordain L. Open Heart - - 2016 ; 3 : e000325

Nutritional strategies for skeletal and cardiovascular health: hard bones, soft arteries, rather than vice versa

The focus of this paper is to explore better strategies for optimising bone strength and reducing risk of fracture, while at the same time decreasing risk of cardiovascular disease. The majority of Americans do not consume the current recommended dietary allowance for calcium, and the lifetime risk of osteoporosis is about 50%. However, traditional mononutrient calcium supplements may not be ideal. We comprehensively and systematically reviewed the scientific literature in order to determine the optimal dietary strategies and nutritional supplements for long-term skeletal health and cardiovascular health. To summarise, the following steps may be helpful for building strong bones while maintaining soft and supple arteries: (1) calcium is best obtained from dietary sources rather than supplements; (2) ensure that adequate animal protein intake is coupled with calcium intake of 1000 mg/day; (3) maintain vitamin D levels in the normal range; (4) increase intake of fruits and vegetables to alkalinise the system and promote bone health; (5) concomitantly increase potassium consumption while reducing sodium intake; (6) consider increasing the intake of foods rich in vitamins K1 and K2; (7) consider including bones in the diet; they are a rich source of calcium-hydroxyapatite and many other nutrients needed for building bone.