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Mediterranean diet enriched with olive oil boosts bone health, study


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(NaturalNews) Bone health is not something that most people think about until it becomes an issue, which usually happens later in life. While men and women can both suffer from weakening of the bones, it is a particular issue for women, especially after they hit menopause. This is because of the drop in estrogen levels that menopause brings with it - a drop which can lead to loss of calcium from the bones. It is this loss which, in turn, leads to brittle bones. These brittle bones can put women at a risk of serious fractures, including fractures of the hip which can lead to a permanent loss of mobility and independence.

However, it was noticed that women in Mediterranean countries, which have a high consumption of olive oil, have a reduced risk of weakened bones. And there is some evidence that there is a link between bone strength and olive oil consumption. This articles explores why.

Olive oil and the Mediterranean diet

Women in the Mediterranean countries typically consume a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, and also one rich in olive oil, typically at least 2-4 tablespoons daily. The kind of olive oil consumed is the very richest in nutrients, which is extra virgin and first-pressed. It is believed that this consumption is good for general health and for bone strength.

The reason for these health benefits is due to the presence of antioxidant phenolic compounds. These compounds are able to reduce inflammation throughout the body, lower cholesterol levels, prevent oxidative stress to the cells and reduce the chances of heart attacks and strokes. It is also believed that regular consumption of olive oil can help lower the risk of certain cancers, such as cancer of the colon.

Olive oil consumption and bone health

The study of olive oil consumption in relation to bone health is relatively new. It is believed that olive oil's contribution to bone health is partly due to the fact that it is rich in vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and water soluble components. It is rich in oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid, and linoleic acid as well. Research, dating as far back as the 1980s, showed a link between bone health and high intake of monounsaturated fat and low intake of polyunsaturated fats - the kind of balance found in olive oil. The first clinical study of this, back in 2008, was done on laboratory animals. It was found that rats who were given a diet enriched in olive oil showed increased bone formation. It is believed that the phenolic compounds in olive oil help to support the mineralization and development of bone tissue. In 2013, another study, this time on humans, showed that increased olive oil consumption over two years was linked to increased levels of calcium in the bones.

This is another good argument, if any is needed, that the Mediterranean diet truly is a good choice for anyone interested in long-term health. Not only does it help to reduce inflammation throughout the body and decrease the risk of many chronic diseases, it can also lead to strong and healthy bones that can reduce the risk of fractures and lead to better quality of life as someone ages.

Sources:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk

http://www.independent.co.uk

http://www.oliveoiltimes.com

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com

About the author:
Sofiya has written articles on most health-related topics, including traditional medicine, alternative and naturopathic and natural treatments,health insurance, wellness, medical marijuana, diets and fitness.

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