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Olive Oil Enriched Diet Shown to Improve Bone Health

A recent study from Spain suggests that following the Mediterranean Diet enriched with extra olive oil may increase the formation of healthy bones in mature adults. Participants in the study who followed this diet for two years had increased serum concentrations of bone formation markers.

127 men between the ages of 55 and 80 who were participating in the Prevencion con Dieta Mediterranea (PREDIMED) study were selected to undertake this intervention. 34 of the men consumed a low-fat control diet, 51 consumed a Mediterranean diet enriched with nuts, and 42 consumed a Mediterranean diet enriched with virgin olive oil.

The researchers took blood samples at the onset of the intervention and again two years later. They found that only participants consuming the olive oil enriched Mediterranean diet had higher blood concentrations of osteocalcin, a bone formation marker. Additionally, the olive oil group maintained the same calcium levels in their blood, while the other two groups showed notable decreases.

The study was conducted by researchers at the Hospital Dr. Josep Trueta in Spain. It was published online ahead of print on August 1, 2012, in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

This new study adds more evidence to back the many health benefits of a Mediterranean diet. Previous research has shown that the diet may improve heart health, lower the risk of Alzheimer’s, diabetes, asthma, lower rates of obesity and even decrease the overall risk of mortality.

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