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Olive Extract May Help Bone Formation in Women With Osteoporosis

The European Food Safety Authority has already approved health claims that confirm that olive polyphenols benefit heart health. Now a new study suggests that they may also aid new cell formation in people with osteoporosis, when taken together with calcium.

Bone cells are constantly being renewed as old, damaged cells are removed by cells called osteoclasts, and then are replaced with new cells called osteoblasts. In people with osteoporosis, the osteoblasts are not working to their full potential and therefore are not forming new bone cells at the same rate as old ones are removed.

Participants in this study included 64 post-menopausal women with decreased bone mass (osteopenia) who were given either 250 mg of olive extract plus 1000 mg calcium or 1000 mg calcium alone daily for one year.

At the conclusion of the study, the olive extract group had increased levels of the pro-osteoblastic marker osteocalcin when compared with the placebo group. Additionally, bone mineral density had decreased in the placebo group but remained stable in the olive extract group.

The study was conducted by researchers from the Institute of Rural Health in Poland, Warsaw University of Life Sciences in Poland, Ghent University in Belgium, BioActor BV in the Netherlands, and Clermont Université in France. It was published in the July, 2014 edition of The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging.

Previous studies into the health benefits of olive extract suggest that it may help lower blood pressure. If you’re interested in taking an olive extract supplement, make sure it’s tested for purity and potency.

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