n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Influence of nutritional status on bone health in young South African women - : physical activity and health

Volume 16, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


Osteoporosis is a public health problem worldwide, with consequences of increasing risk of fragility fractures, disability and premature mortality. This study sought to establish the link between nutrition and bone health in young South African women. This cross-sectional study involved 28 South African females aged 18 to 22 years. Total muscle mass, bone mass, fat mass, spine and femur were measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Participants also completed a food intake questionnaire. Nutritional indicators were isolated. Collected data was captured and analyzed by means of statistical package for the social sciences (SPSS). Spearman's correlation method was used to determine the correlations between the selected nutrients and bone density measurements. Positive low-moderate correlations (r=0.4) were found between phytate and total body mass and between phytate and total bone mass. A positive low-moderate correlation (r=0.4) was also found between vitamin K and T-score (lumbar spine). No statistically significant correlations were found between other nutrients and bone density measurements. The fact that this study was unable to illustrate an association between bone mineral density (BMD) and some of these nutrients should not be considered that these nutrients are less significant to bone and general health. Bone mineral status is only one aspect of health in which these nutrients may have long-term beneficial consequences.

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