Posted on Sep 20, 2012, 10 a.m.
Eating a Mediterranean diet enriched with olive oil may offer protection against age-related bone loss.
José Manuel Fernández-Real, MD, PhD, of Hospital Dr. Josep Trueta in Girona, Spain, and colleagues studied data from 127 men aged 55 to 80 years to investigate the effect of diet on bone health. Participants were randomly assigned to three intervention groups: Mediterranean diet with mixed nuts, Mediterranean diet with virgin olive oil, or a low-fat diet. Osteocalcin, glucose, total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and triglycerides were established at baseline and after 2-year follow-up. Results revealed a significant increase in concentrations of total osteocalcin and other bone formation markers among the men in the Mediterranean diet with virgin olive oil intervention group. Furthermore, no significant changes in serum calcium where observed in participants in the olive oil group whereas serum calcium decreased significantly in the other two groups. Together these results suggest that long-term consumption of a Mediterranean diet combined with olive oil may offer protection against age-related bone loss. "The intake of olive oil has been related to the prevention of osteoporosis in experimental and in vitro models," said Dr Fernández-Real. "This is the first randomized study which demonstrates that olive oil preserves bone, at least as inferred by circulating bone markers, in humans."
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Fernández-Real JM, Bulló M, Moreno-Navarrete JM, Ricart W, Ros E, Estruch R, Salas-Salvadó J. A Mediterranean diet enriched with olive oil is associated with higher serum total osteocalcin levels in elderly men at high cardiovascular risk. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Aug 1.