New research shows that adding olive oil to the diet may help pre­serve bone. The study to be pub­lished in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that con­sump­tion of olive oil for 2 years resulted in an increase of osteo­cal­cin in the bone. Osteocalcin is a pro­tein found in the bone that is involved in its min­er­al­iza­tion and is often used as a bio­chem­i­cal marker for bone for­ma­tion.

Previous research has found asso­ci­a­tions between olive oil and osteo­poro­sis but they were mainly exper­i­men­tal, this is the first study that exam­ined the effect of olive oil on cir­cu­lat­ing osteo­cal­cin in humans.

For this ran­dom­ized study 127 men aged 55 to 80 years were ran­domly selected from one of the PREDIMED study cen­ters. PREDIMED, is a long-term nutri­tional inter­ven­tion study aimed to assess the effi­cacy of the Mediterranean diet in the pre­ven­tion of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­eases.

The elderly sub­jects had a diag­no­sis of type 2 dia­betes or at least three car­dio­vas­cu­lar risk fac­tors, namely hyper­ten­sion, dys­lipi­demia, or a fam­ily his­tory of pre­ma­ture car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease. The par­tic­i­pants were ran­domly assigned to one of three inter­ven­tion groups: Mediterranean diet with mixed nuts, Mediterranean diet with vir­gin olive oil, or a low-fat diet.

For the study, mea­sure­ments were taken for osteo­cal­cin, glu­cose, total cho­les­terol, HDL-cho­les­terol and triglyc­eride at the begin­ning of the inter­ven­tion and after two years. The par­tic­i­pants fol­low­ing a Mediterranean diet with olive oil had a sig­nif­i­cant increase in the con­cen­tra­tions of total osteo­cal­cin and other bone for­ma­tion mark­ers and they also had no sig­nif­i­cant changes in serum cal­cium, whereas in the other two groups (Mediterranean diet with mixed nuts and Low fat Diet) serum cal­cium decreased sig­nif­i­cantly.

According the researchers, stud­ies have shown that the inci­dence of osteo­poro­sis is lower in the Mediterranean and the Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil, may be one of the rea­sons why.



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