Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Reduces Osteoporosis-Related Fracture Risk

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08 Jun 2017 --- The Mediterranean diet has been associated with a lower risk of hip fracture, adding to list of health benefits this traditional diet is thought to bring. One of the primary fats consumed in the Mediterranean diet is olive oil, and its high content of monounsaturated fatty acids and polyphenols may partly explain the beneficial effect of the Mediterranean diet on bone health, according to a press release on TAP Integrative.

The Mediterranean Diet pattern includes a high intake of plant-based proteins, such as nuts, lentils and beans, whole-grains, fish and monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil. The diet is also associated with a low intake of refined grains such as white bread or white rice, red meat and candy.

In a recent study published by García-Gavilán et al. in Clinical Nutrition, researchers examined the association between the amount of olive oil consumed and the risk of osteoporotic factures in adults. Data was sourced from a subset of participants enrolled in the PREDIMED trial, which is a large, multi-center, randomized controlled trial that evaluated the effect of the Mediterranean diet on the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in Spain.

Click to EnlargeIn the study, participants were assigned to one of three dietary interventions: the Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO); the Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts; or a low-fat control diet. Osteoporotic fractures were assessed in only a sub-cohort of patients in the PREDIMED trial.

In the sub-cohort of 870 participants (aged between 55 and 80 years), there were 114 incident cases of osteoporosis-related fractures over a median follow-up of 8.9 years. There were no significant differences in the risk of fractures between the three dietary intervention groups. Data from food frequency questionnaires were then used to categorize study participants into tertiles of total olive oil, common refined olive oil and EVOO consumption. These data revealed a 51% reduced risk of osteoporosis-related fractures in inpiduals in the highest tertile of EVOO consumption compared with the lowest tertile (hazards ratio = 0.49; 95% CI, 0.29-0.81).

The authors of this study conclude that higher consumption of EVOO reduces the risk of osteoporosis-related fractures in an older Mediterranean population.

Earlier this year, a major study funded by World Cancer Research Fund found that the Mediterranean diet may help reduce the risk of a type of post-menopausal breast cancer by 40%

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