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Preventing Hip Fractures with Plant Foods

Remember the classic Popeye cartoons? Did you notice that Popeye never seemed to age? Sure, he was only a cartoon character, but there's more to the story. Chances are, if Popeye had been a living, breathing human being, he would have faced injury and aging better than many of us do.

What could account for this youthful vitality? Perhaps it's the fact that Popeye ate his spinach. Dark green leafy vegetables, like spinach and broccoli, are rich in vitamin K, which may help reduce hip fractures as we age. In a recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, individuals with the highest daily vitamin K intake had a significantly lower risk of hip fracture compared with those with the lowest intake. Bone mineral density (BMD) was not influenced by vitamin K intake, suggesting an independent protective effect on bone strength from vitamin K.

We're subject to a variety of physical changes as we get older, and to a point there's not much we can do about it. However, considerable evidence (including this study) points to the value of proper nutrition and exercise in delaying or minimizing the consequences of aging.

Talk to your doctor about the essentials of good health. You can also access additional information on line at and


Booth S, Tucker K, Chen H, et al. Dietary vitamin K intakes are associated with hip fracture but not with bone mineral density in elderly men and women. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2000: Vol. 71, pp1201-1208.