- Male vegetarians had an average measurable bone loss of 3%
- Male meat-eaters had an average measurable bone loss of 7%
- Female vegetarians had an average measurable bone loss of 18%
- Female meat-eaters had an average measurable bone loss of 35%
At the age of 65, the average meat eating woman in the United States has lost over a third of her skeletal structure. In contrast, older vegetarian women tend to remain active, maintain erect postures, and are less likely to fracture or break bones even with their increased physical activity. If their bones do break or fracture, they heal faster and more completely.
You may wonder, since osteoporosis seems to be caused by excessive dietary protein, why vegetarians seem so protected from its ravages. Isn't it possible to overdose on vegetarian proteins? Even haunted by the protein myth, however, vegetarians tend not to over-consume protein to the extent that meat-eaters do, and this is one reason they do not suffer nearly as much osteoporosis. But even if a vegetarian were to consume as much excess protein as a meat-eater, he or she would still have stronger bones because meat, eggs and fish contribute to osteoporosis in other way - pH of the blood.
Keeping our blood at an essentially neutral pH is a top priority for the body. If our blood were to become too acidic we would die. Accordingly, if the diet contains a lot of acid forming foods, then the body, in its wisdom, withdraws calcium from the bones and uses this alkaline mineral to balance the pH of the blood. As we can see meat, eggs and fish are the most acid-forming foods, and hence the ones that cause calcium to be drawn from the bones to restore the pH balance. Most fruits and vegetables, on the other hand, generally yield an alkaline ash, and so require no depletion of calcium stores from the bones to maintain the neutrality of the blood.
Therefore, it is advisable to consume more vegetarian foods than meat, egg and fish in order to keep our bones stronger and maintain the neutrality of our blood, and subsequently protect us from osteoporosis and other major diseases.