Association between nutrient patterns and bone mineral density among ageing adults

Yohannes Adama Melaku, Tiffany K. Gill, Anne W. Taylor, Robert John Adams, Zumin Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Background and aim There is limited evidence on the link between the overall nutrients intake from diet and bone mineral density (BMD). We assessed the association between nutrient patterns and BMD among an ageing Australian population. Methods Participants (n = 1135; males, 45.8%; median age, 62.0 years) with dietary and BMD data in the North West Adelaide Health Study (NWAHS) were included. Dietary intake was assessed using a food frequency questionnaire. BMD was measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Nutrient patterns were identified by factor analysis. Linear regression analyses were conducted to assess the association between nutrient patterns and BMD (mg/cm 2 ). Multiple imputation and sensitivity analyses were conducted to investigate the effect of missing data on the estimates. Results Three nutrient patterns (mixed-source [potassium, calcium, fibre, retinol and Vitamin B 12 ], animal-sourced [cholesterol, protein, Vitamin B 12 and fat] and plant-sourced [fibre, carotene, vitamin C and Lutein]) were identified. After adjusting for socio-demographic, lifestyle and behavioural characteristics, chronic conditions and energy intake, animal (β = −4.07; 95% confidence interval (CI): −11.89, 3.76) and plant-sourced (β = −0.99; 95% CI: −7.43, 5.45) patterns were not associated with BMD. However, we found that the mixed-source pattern was positively associated with BMD (β = 10.86; 95% CI: 1.91, 19.80). We did not find interactions between the pattern, other covariates and BMD. The multiple imputation and sensitivity analyses including missing data identified similar patterns of association between nutrient patterns and BMD. Conclusions Whereas animal- and plant-sourced nutrient patterns are not associated with BMD, mixed-source pattern may have benefit in prevention of reduced BMD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-106
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Nutrition ESPEN
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • nutrient pattern
  • bone mineral density
  • Ageing population


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