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Bone Mineral Density

Bone mineral density (BMD) is the density of mineral in bone tissue (more mass in the same area causing an increase in density), and is thought to reflect structural integrity of bones. Improving BMD reduces the risk of osteoporosis and falls in the elderly.

Research analysis led by Kamal Patel.
All content reviewed by the Examine.com Team. Published: Jul 5, 2013
Last Updated:

Things To Know & Note

Also Known As


Human Effect Matrix

The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what supplements affect bone mineral density
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
grade-a Notable Moderate See all 15 studies
There appears to be a relative increase in bone mineral density associated with vitamin K supplementation, due to attenuating the rate of bone loss in older individuals. Although it is significant overall in meta-analyses, it is quite unreliable and similar in potency to vitamin D when it occurs (less than estrogen replacement therapy)
grade-b Minor Low See all 3 studies
There is limited evidence in favor of improvements in bone mineral density.
grade-b - High See all 7 studies
Most evidence suggests no increase in bone mineral density, but this may be due to short trials (6 months). Longer trials note a small but unreliable increase in bone mineral density, so there may be a role of DHEA in bone health
grade-b - High See all 4 studies
Beyond a small (less than 5%) attenuation in the rate of lumbar bone mineral density losses, standard supplementation does not appear to significantly influence bone mass or the rate of bone loss.
grade-c Notable - See study
Definitely requires more evidence, but a DXA confirmed increase in bone mass in men over 12 weeks makes this notable (rather than an increase in bone mass in osteoporotic women over 2 years)
grade-c Minor - See study
The rate of bone loss over 2 years has been noted to be reduced with icariin supplementation, although not to a remarkable degree
grade-c Minor - See study
An increase in bone mineral density has been noted with magnesium supplementation
grade-c Minor Very High See 2 studies
The rate of bone mineral density loss over time in elder women appears to be reduced with dietary antioxidants, and as such applies to Vitamin C supplementation. The protective effect is not remarkably large
grade-c - - See study
No evidence to support a link between CLA and alterations in bone mineral density
grade-c - Very High See 2 studies
Studies that assess bone mineral density via DEXA, albeit short in duration and in athletes rather than populations at risk for osteoporosis, fail to find significant alterations in bone mineral density.
grade-c - - See study
No significant alterations in bone mineral density
grade-c - - See study
grade-c - Very High See 2 studies
Currently no demonstrated benefit to bone mineral density, although protein in general appears to have a protective effect
grade-d Minor - See study
An association has been noted with increased bone mineral density and Mate consumption; insufficient evidence to suggest a causative role as no interventions exist
grade-d - - See study
No significant influence on bone mineral density
grade-d - - See study
grade-d - - See study
No significant influence on bone mineral density noted with fish oil supplementation