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Does Diet-Induced Weight Loss Lead to Bone Loss in Overweight or Obese Adults? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Clinical Trials


Diet-induced weight loss has been suggested to be harmful to bone health. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis (using a random-effects model) to quantify the effect of diet-induced weight loss on bone. We included 41 publications involving overweight or obese but otherwise healthy adults who followed a dietary weight-loss intervention. The primary outcomes examined were changes from baseline in total hip, lumbar spine, and total body bone mineral density (BMD), as assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Secondary outcomes were markers of bone turnover. Diet-induced weight loss was associated with significant decreases of 0.010 to 0.015 g/cm2 in total hip BMD for interventions of 6, 12, or 24 (but not 3) months' duration (95% confidence intervals [CIs], -0.014 to -0.005, -0.021 to -0.008, and -0.024 to -0.000 g/cm2 , at 6, 12, and 24 months, respectively). There was, however, no statistically significant effect of diet-induced weight loss on lumbar spine or whole-body BMD for interventions of 3 to 24 months' duration, except for a significant decrease in total body BMD (-0.011 g/cm2 ; 95% CI, -0.018 to -0.003 g/cm2 ) after 6 months. Although no statistically significant changes occurred in serum concentrations of N-terminal propeptide of type I procollagen (P1NP), interventions of 2 or 3 months in duration (but not of 6, 12, or 24 months' duration) induced significant increases in serum concentrations of osteocalcin (0.26 nmol/L; 95% CI, 0.13 to 0.39 nmol/L), C-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen (CTX) (4.72 nmol/L; 95% CI, 2.12 to 7.30 nmol/L) or N-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen (NTX) (3.70 nmol/L; 95% CI, 0.90 to 6.50 nmol/L bone collagen equivalents [BCEs]), indicating an early effect of diet-induced weight loss to promote bone breakdown. These data show that in overweight and obese individuals, a single diet-induced weight-loss intervention induces a small decrease in total hip BMD, but not lumbar spine BMD. This decrease is small in comparison to known metabolic benefits of losing excess weight. (c) 2015 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.

Type Journal
ISBN 1523-4681 (Electronic) 0884-0431 (Linking)
Authors Zibellini, J.; Seimon, R. V.; Lee, C. M.; Gibson, A. A.; Hsu, M. S.; Shapses, S. A.; Nguyen, T. V.; Sainsbury, A.;
Responsible Garvan Author Prof Tuan Nguyen
Published Date 2015-12-01
Published Volume 526
Published Pages 112-131
Status Published in-print
URL link to publisher's version
OpenAccess link to author's accepted manuscript version