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A Mediterranean-like dietary pattern reduces the rate of bone loss

A Mediterranean-like dietary pattern reduces the rate of bone loss

2018/12/07 - Until now, the Mediterranean Diet (MD) has been widely recommended for the prevention of chronic diseases, but there was a lack of evidence to show a beneficial effect on bone health. Based on this premise, a new research project from the University of East Anglia (Norwich, United Kingdom) has determined that following a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, unrefined grains, olive oil and fish can significantly reduce bone loss on the hip in less than 12 months.

Published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it is, according to its authors, the first long-term pan-European clinical trial that analyzes the impact of the Mediterranean Diet on bone density in older adults.

The aim of the study was to examine the impact of the Mediterranean Diet on inflammation indices with a series of secondary variables, including Bone Mineral Density (BMD), as well as biomarkers of bone and collagen degradation, in a randomized trial developed in elderly Europeans.

To do this, 1,294 people between 65 and 79 years were evaluated, who were randomly assigned in two different groups: one that followed a Mediterranean Diet and another group that did not.

After one year following the Mediterranean dietary pattern supplemented with vitamin D3 (10 μg/d), the trial determined that, although it had no effect on BMD in the average range of participants with a normal bone density index, it significantly reduced the rate of bone loss in the femoral neck (the area that connects the axis of the thigh bone with its rounded head, which adapts to the hip joint) in individuals with osteoporosis.

The research also specifies that phenolic compounds, found in virgin olive oil, are suggested as one of the components of the Mediterranean Diet responsible for the positive effect on bones.

The study was supported by the 7th Framework Program of the European Union under the grant agreement 266486 (NU-AGE "New dietary strategies that address the specific needs of the elderly population for healthy aging in Europe".

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