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Vegans should hit the gym and start pumping iron if they want healthy bones, study suggests
- Vegans who lift weights have stronger bones than those who do not, says study
- Medical University of Vienna studied 43 male and female vegans of five years
- A previous study found vegan children grow up with shorter and weaker bones
Vegans need to start lifting weights if they want healthy bones, a study claims.
Those who stick to a plant-based diet and do strength training, rather than other forms of exercise such as cycling or swimming, may have stronger bones than other vegans, it suggests.
A team from the Medical University of Vienna looked at data from 43 men and women who had been vegan for at least five years.
Those who did resistance training such as using machines, free weights or bodyweight resistance exercises at least once a week had stronger bones than those who did not, the results, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, found.
Last year, a study revealed vegan children grow up shorter with weaker bones than those who eat meat.
Those who stick to a plant-based diet and do strength training, rather than other forms of exercise such as cycling or swimming, may have stronger bones than other vegans, it suggests. Pictured: stock image of woman doing bicep curl
Latest figures suggest there are around 600,000 vegans in Great Britain, with the number rapidly increasing in recent years.
Christian Muschitz, one of the authors of the study, said: ‘Veganism is a global trend with strongly increasing numbers of people worldwide adhering to a purely plant-based diet.
‘Our study showed resistance training offsets diminished bone structure in vegan people when compared to omnivores.
‘People who adhere to a vegan lifestyle should perform resistance training on a regular basis to preserve bone strength.’ Last year, a study revealed vegan children grow up shorter with weaker bones than those who eat meat.
It found five to ten-year-olds on plant-based diets are on average just over an inch shorter than omnivores.
However there were some positives – with vegan children having better cardiovascular health, with 25 per cent lower levels of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol and lower levels of body fat.
Experts warn that maximising bone health in children is recommended to help reduce future osteoporosis and fracture risk. Foods with added nutrients such as chickpeas and lentils can help vegans get enough nutrients into their diet.