Optimizing Nutrition to Promote Adolescent Bone Health



There are many nutrients that contribute to adolescent bone health. The Dietary Reference Intakes, or DRIs, provide reference values for each of these nutrients to ensure that adolescents meet their needs. To support bone health, adolescents need to consume adequate amounts of protein, without exceeding their needs to avoid upsetting the acid-base balance in the body. Most adolescents need to increase their intakes of calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, and, for adolescent females, iron. Fewer adolescents need to increase their intakes of vitamins A and K. Generally speaking, intakes of boron, copper, fluoride, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc are adequate. Other nutritional factors that can negatively impact bone health include binge drinking, caffeinated beverages, carbonated beverages, sodium, and, due to the interference of mineral absorption, dietary fiber. Adolescents with lactose intolerance, a milk allergy, or those who follow a vegan diet may have increased risk of nutritional deficiency if their diet is not well balanced. Assessing the dietary habits and nutrient intake of your patients is important to determine their risk of a possible nutritional deficiency. If their diet is lacking a particular food group, they should receive nutrition education about the nutrients they may be missing and advice on how to increase their intake. If they are unable to increase their intakes from food, a supplement should be recommended. Dietary supplements should be cautiously recommended as there is the potential for an adolescent to exceed the tolerable upper limit of a nutrient.


Nutrition Supplements Calcium Vitamin D Milk 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Adolescent/Young Adult MedicineBoston Children’s HospitalBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Nutritional SciencesUniversity of Michigan School of Public HealthAnn ArborUSA

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