Mediterranean Diet Might be Good for Bone Health in Postmenopausal Women
The Mediterranean diet is characterized by high amounts of vegetables, legumes, cereals, fish, fruits and nuts, healthy mono-saturated fats like olive oil, low amounts of saturated fats, moderate alcohol intake, and low intake of meat and dairy products. A recent study suggest that the Mediterranean diet — which is best know for being good for heart health — may also be good for postmenopausal women’s bones and muscles.
Participants in the study included 103 heatlhy women from southern Brazil with an average age of 55 who had gone through menopause an average 5.5 years earlier. The researchers took bone scans of all of the women in order to determine bone mineral density, total body fat, and appendicular lean mass, which was used to estimate skeletal muscle mass. All of the women also completed a food frequency questionnaire about their food consumption over the past month.
The researchers found that a higher Mediterranean diet score (which indicates adherence to the Mediterranean diet) was associated with higher bone mineral density measured in the lumbar spine, as well as greater muscle mass. This held true independent of previous hormone therapy, prior smoking, or current level of physical activity, which was measured by a pedometer for six days.
Researchers from Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil conducted the study. It was presented on March 19, 2018, at ENDO 2018, the Endocrine Society's 100th annual meeting in Chicago, Illinois.
Previous research has shown that the Mediterranean diet and other similar diets may improve heart health, lower the risk of diabetes, asthma, lower rates of obesity and possibly even decrease the overall risk of mortality.