Woman eating Kale salad.— Unsplash

Woman eating Kale salad.— Unsplash
  • Scientists studied diet and health records of over 26,000 women.
  • Experts suspect vegetarians get insufficient nutrients for bone and muscle health.
  • Study emphasises significance of balanced diet.

A UK study found that vegetarian women were more likely to suffer from hip fractures at an older age than those who ate meat.

Scientists studied the diet and health records of over 26,000 women and concluded that women who did not take any meat were a third more likely to break a hip.

More research needs to be done on why the risk is greater but experts suspect it could be due to vegetarians getting insufficient nutrients for bone and muscle health.

Since meat production is responsible for much of the pollution caused by food production in general, Dr James Webster, a researcher at the University of Leeds, does not discourage vegans, reported The Guardian.

Webster said that vegetarians did not have to give up their diet but just make sure they were planning well and not missing “out on nutrients that you exclude when you don’t eat meat or fish.”

The study published in BMC Medicine emphasises the significance of a balanced diet even though vegetarian diets reduce the risk of obesity, heart diseases, and some cancers.

Webster said that vegetarians had “weaker bones and lower muscle mass due to lower intakes of important nutrients.”

Experts also believe that vegetarians are more likely to have less fat which could act as a cushion in case a person falls. 

For bone health, Websters suggested vegetarians took B12 and iron supplements and get sufficient protein from nuts and beans.

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