Thursday, September 13, 2018

Carbohydrate Quality And Osteoporosis


The Study
Osteoporosis is a disease that reduces bone strength and markedly increases risk of fracture. It can dramatically reduce quality of life and ability to function as we age. In this study, 870 subjects from the Spanish based PREDIMED cohort had their glycemic index and glycemic load measured by food frequency questionnaire annually for 9 years. When compared to subjects with the lowest glycemic index, subjects with the highest glycemic index had an 80% higher risk of osteoporotic fracture. When compared to subjects with the lowest glycemic load, subjects with the highest glycemic load had a 320% higher risk of osteoporotic fracture. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2018; 107:1035.

Take Home Message
We can add osteoporosis to the growing list of diseases that may occur when we focus on the wrong carbohydrates. The authors believed that the increased blood sugars associated with high glycemic carbs explained the higher risk of osteoporosis through several potential mechanisms:

-Increased inflammation.
-Increased oxidative stress.
-A decrease in osteoblast activity.
-Acidosis.
-Inhibition of genes involved in osteoblast differentiation.
-An increased excretion of calcium in the urine.

To reduce the glycemic index and glycemic load of your diet, strictly limit refined carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, white rice and sugar. Focus on fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains such as oatmeal, brown rice and quinoa. You also don’t want to go too heavy on the carbs. Shoot for about 45-50% of your daily calories as carbohydrate.


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