Vegans who lift weights have stronger bones than plant-based dieters who don’t, and similar bone structure to omnivores, says study

Author: Maria Chiorando

Read Time:   |  14th August 2022

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As researchers suggest a plant-based diet can be associated with lower bone mineral density and increased fracture risk, new study says 'resistance training offsets diminished bone structure'


Vegans who engage in weight training have stronger bones than plant-based dieters who eschew resistance training, according to new research.

The study looked at data from 43 men and women who had been vegan for at least five years and 45 men and women on an omnivore diet for at least five years. 

The team, from the Medical University of Vienna, found that ‘vegan participants who did resistance training exercises such as using machines, free weights, or bodyweight resistance exercises at least once a week had stronger bones than those who did not’.

They also found that vegans and omnivores who engaged in resistance training had similar bone structure.

Their findings, which they note follows previous data that suggest a plant-based diet can be associated with lower bone mineral density and increased fracture risk, led them to conclude that vegans should start lifting weights if they want strong bones.

Preserving stronger bones

The study’s authors noted that an increasing number of people are opting for plant-based diets, noting that some six per cent of people in the United States are vegans.

Christian Muschitz, one of the authors of the study, said: “Veganism is a global trend with strongly increasing numbers of people worldwide adhering to a purely plant-based diet.

“Our study showed resistance training offsets diminished bone structure in vegan people when compared to omnivores.

“People who adhere to a vegan lifestyle should perform resistance training on a regular basis to preserve bone strength.”

Want to give weight training a go? This basic weight training workout should get you off to a good start

Feature image credit: Yagi Studio/Getty Images

Written by

Maria Chiorando

Maria is an editor and journalist. Her work has been published by the Huffington Post, the Guardian, TechnoBuffalo, Plant Based News, and Kent on Sunday among other national and regional titles.

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