Can this be? Study suggests vegetarians are more likely to break their hips

 Can this be?  Study suggests vegetarians are more likely to break their hips
  • Ulrike Hanninger

    FromUlrike Hanninger


The benefits of a vegetarian diet have been well documented. However, a new study sees hip fractures as a result. This is how vegetarians can prevent it.

Released in July 2023 BMC Magazine the results of a study linking a vegetarian diet to a broken hip (pelvic fracture). Initial evaluations see a significantly increased risk in vegetarians. However, no sound scientific conclusions can be drawn from this.

Findings of the study: Vegetarians break their hips more often

A vegetarian diet appears to have an impact on bone health, particularly that of the hips.

© agefotostock/Imago

James Webster, Darren C. Greenwood and Janet E. Cade from the University of Leeds examined in their study whether there is a connection between diet and a broken hip. To do this, they evaluated the data of 413,914 participants from the UK Biobank. The test subjects are middle-aged British adults, including a group of meat eaters, one of pescetarians, i.e. people who eat no meat but eat fish, and a group of vegetarians.

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The study concludes that vegetarians have a 50 percent increased risk of breaking their hips, regardless of age or gender. The researchers suspect an explanation for this in a lower body mass index, which vegetarians usually have compared to meat eaters. With the so-called BMI, the ideal body weight can be determined. Being slightly overweight seems to protect against this.

How is the study classified?

However, no reliable conclusions can be drawn from the results. Further investigations have already been announced. To prevent hip fractures, however, the researchers strongly advise vegetarians to eat a balanced diet.

How can vegetarians prevent hip fractures?

The positive effects of a vegetarian diet on the body are well documented. Vegetarians are less likely to be overweight and generally have a longer life expectancy. There is a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, they have better blood pressure readings and rarely diabetes.

However, symptoms of deficiency sometimes occur with a purely vegetarian diet. Vegetarians should therefore have their blood levels checked regularly and, above all, make sure they are getting enough vitamin B12, vitamin D, iron, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids. According to another study, the latter even improve brain performance.

Natural suppliers are noisy and the Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) among other things:

  • Vitamin B12: Eggs, dairy products such as cheese, milk or yogurt
  • Vitamin D: is absorbed mainly through sunlight, found in small amounts in mushrooms or egg yolks
  • Iron: nuts, oatmeal, legumes
  • Zinc: Whole grains, seeds like flaxseed, legumes
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: flaxseed, rapeseed oil, walnuts, which are also considered to be slimming and antihypertensive

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Vitamin D is particularly important for preventing fractures – a deficiency can occur even in the summer. Its presence should be checked regularly by a doctor. Because according to that University Hospital Zurich (USZ) From around the age of 40, bone density decreases in humans, which increases the risk of osteoporosis and thus fractures. The supply of calcium, vitamin K and folic acid is also of great importance Institute for nutritional medicine at the Klinikum Rechts der Isar in Munich.

This article only contains general information on the respective health topic and is therefore not intended for self-diagnosis, treatment or medication. In no way does it replace a visit to the doctor. Unfortunately, our editorial team cannot answer individual questions about clinical pictures.

List of rubrics: © agefotostock/Imago


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