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Promoting Healthy Bones

Sorting Out the Science

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According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, the incidence of hip fractures increased nearly 25% worldwide between 1990 and 2000. By 2050, the worldwide incidence of hip fracture is projected to increase by an alarming 240% in women and 310% in men. In addition, in women over 45 years of age, osteoporosis accounts for more days spent in the hospital than many other diseases including diabetes, myocardial infarction and breast cancer.

What’s causing these declines in bone health and what can be done? It’s well-known that meeting recommendations for calcium and vitamin D is critical for bone health—but is this enough? Are supplements necessary? What is the role of other nutrients such as protein or beverage ingredients such as caffeine and phosphoric acid?

In this program, Dr. Robert P. Heaney, noted bone health expert and Creighton University Professor of Medicine, reviews the research related to lifestyle factors that impact bone health, including diet, supplement use and physical activity. Learn why taking a “mono-nutrient” approach when addressing bone health issues is usually wrong, as well as how clinical studies on the impact of caffeine, phosphoric acid and carbonation on calcium balance shape discussions on beverage and bone health concerns.

 Learning Objectives

  • Cite two major factors contributing to poor bone health.
  • Discuss the synergy between nutrition and exercise in promoting bone health.
  • Explain the inadequacy of taking a “mono-nutrient” approach to bone health, using the impact of protein intake on calcium balance as an example.
  • Discuss clinical research findings related to the impact of caffeine, phosphoric acid and carbonation on calcium balance and bone health.



Robert P. Heaney

Robert P. Heaney, MD

Dr. Robert P. Heaney is John A. Creighton University Professor and Professor of Medicine at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. A recognized expert in the field of osteoporosis, vitamin D and calcium physiology, he has worked for more than 50 years in the study of osteoporosis and bone physiology. Dr. Heaney was a member of the Panel on Calcium and Related Nutrients involved in the development of the IOM’s Dietary Reference Intakes for these nutrients, and his laboratory has done bioavailability testing for many of the major food companies in North America. Dr. Heaney has received many honors and awards and is a member of numerous professional organizations as well as being published widely in peer-reviewed journals.


The views and opinions expressed by the experts and organizations in this program are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of any institution or association to which they belong, The Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association, or The Coca-Cola Company.