According to a new study published in the journal BMC Medicine that analyzed data from over 50,000 people in the long-ongoing (and excellent) EPIC-Oxford study , compared to people who eat meat and fish, “vegans with lower calcium and protein intake . . . had a higher risk of fractures anywhere in the body” which includes, of course , a higher risk of fractures of the hips, legs and vertebrae, those areas of the body particularly susceptible to fractures related to osteoporosis.
This higher fracture risk was also present, but not as much as in vegans, for vegetarians.
That does not mean, however, that a vegan diet is unhealthy, and in fact, there are lots and lots of good reasons to believe that most vegans are in fact healthier than their meat-eating counterparts, especially the heavy meat-eaters out there (and you can take “heavy” in two ways in that last bit).
It does mean, though, that if you’re going to be a vegan or vegetarian, please make sure to make up for the stuff you get in much larger (and easier) doses from meat such as vitamin B12 and, in the case of this study, calcium.
In fact, in this study, the excess risk of fracture in vegans largely diminished in those vegans who consumed enough calcium and protein.