Caloric restriction (CR), protein restriction (PR), and specific amino acid restriction (e.g., methionine restriction (MR)) are different dietary interventions that have been confirmed with regard to their comprehensive benefits to metabolism and health. Based on bone densitometric measurements, weight loss induced by dietary restriction is known to be accompanied by reduced areal bone mineral density, bone mass, and/or bone size, and it is considered harmful to bone health. However, because of technological advancements in bone densitometric instruments (e.g., high-resolution X-ray tomography), dietary restrictions have been found to cause a reduction in bone mass/size rather than volumetric bone mineral density. Furthermore, when considering bone quality, bone health consists of diverse indices that cannot be fully represented by densitometric measurements alone. Indeed, there is evidence that moderate dietary restrictions do not impair intrinsic bone material properties, despite the reduction in whole-bone strength because of a smaller bone size. In the present review, we integrate research evidence from traditional densitometric measurements, metabolic status assays (e.g., energy metabolism, oxidative stresses, and inflammatory responses), and biomaterial analyses to provide revised conclusions regarding the effects of CR, PR, and MR on the skeleton.
Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2016 Jan;1363:26-39. doi: 10.1111/nyas.13004. Epub 2016 Feb 16.