Are levels of bone turnover related to lower bone mass of adolescents previously fed a macrobiotic diet?

T.J. Parsons, M. van Dusseldorp, M.J. Seibel, W.A. van Staveren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Dutch adolescents who consumed a macrobiotic (vegan-type) diet in early life, demonstrate a lower relative bone mass than their omnivorous counterparts. We investigated whether subjects from the macrobiotic group showed signs of catching up with controls in terms of relative bone mass, reflected by higher levels of serum osteocalcin and alkaline phosphatase and lower levels of urinary cross-links. Group differences in calciotropic hormones and mineral excretion were also investigated. Bone measurements, blood, and urine samples were obtained from 69 macrobiotic (34 girls, 35 boys) and 99 control (57 girls, 42 boys) subjects, aged 9-15. Bone turnover markers and 1,25(OH)2D reached maximal levels at pubertal stages 3-4, and decreased thereafter. After adjusting for puberty, age, and lean body mass, no group differences were found in markers of bone turnover, 1,25(OH)2D, PTH, or calcium excretion, but phosphate excretion was 23␕ower in macrobiotic girls. After adjustment for puberty, 1,25(OH)2D was positively related to osteocalcin. In summary, we found no evidence for group differences in bone turnover, or catch up in relative bone mass, which might be due to the fact that 60␘f subjects were still in early stages of puberty.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)288-293
JournalExperimental and Clinical Endocrinologie and Diabetes
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Bone mass
  • Bone turnover
  • Children
  • Macrobiotic
  • Vegan


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