Olive oil may be protective for your bones. A new study has found that a Mediterranean style diet, one rich in fruits and vegetables, supplemented with olive oil for two years, may have a protective effect on your bones. Age-related bone mass loss and decreased bone strength affects women and men alike, and are important determinants of the risk of osteoporosis and fractures. Studies have shown that the incidence of osteoporosis in Europe is lower in the Mediterranean basin. The traditional Mediterranean diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, with a high intake of olives and olive oil could be one of the factors underlying this difference.
“The intake of olive oil has been related to the prevention of osteoporosis in experimental and in vitro (lab) models,” said Jose Manuel Fernandez-Real, from Hospital Dr. Josep Trueta in Girona, Spain, who led the study. “This is the first randomised study which demonstrates that olive oil preserves bone, at least as inferred by circulating bone markers, in humans,” added Fernandez-Real. (A randomized study is a clinical trial in which all patients are assigned randomly to be in experimental group). The study participants were 127 community-dwelling men aged 55 to 80 years randomly selected from one of the Prevencion con Dieta Mediterranea (Predimed) study centres who had at least two years of follow-up. The Predimed study is a large, parallel group, randomised, controlled trial aimed to assess the effect of the Mediterranean diet on the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.