Mediterranean Diet could reduce Risk of Osteoporosis in Older Adults

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Several studies in the past have reiterated the copious health benefits of Mediterranean-style diet on reducing the risk of a range of diseases such as cardiovascular, Alzheimer’s, and cancer. The body of research has expanded to explore new health benefits, particularly in aged populations. Osteoporosis is a nagging concern for rapidly aging population world over and making changes in the diet is one of the potential ways to manage the condition. It is characterized by the decrease bone density and an impaired bone production in patients, making them increasingly susceptible to fractures.

In a recent international study, a team of researchers led by Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia, in Norwich, conducted a 12-month trial on 1142 people to look at the impact of Mediterranean diet on their bone health. The participants were all aged 65–79 and chosen from five centers in countries of the UK, Italy, the Netherlands, France, and Poland. The researchers found that the Mediterranean-style food and recipes had a noticeable effect on people who had osteoporosis than those with normal bone density. The bone density increase was marked in the femoral neck region.

The pan-European clinical trial study was funded by the European Union and the findings were published on July 11, 2018 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Decreased Bone Density femoral Neck key cause for Bone Fractures in Aged People

The researchers found that the loss of bone in the femoral neck region is the most sensitive region where osteoporosis sets in. This is found to be a prominent area of hip fracture in older adults.

The researchers measured the bone density of respondents in two regions: lumbar spine and femoral neck at the start of the study and mere 10% were suffering with the condition at the start of the trial. Of note, participants in the intervention group were given olive oil and wholemeal pasta. In addition, they were given adequate amount of vitamin D to compensate for difference in sunlight effect on the vitamin on people in different countries.

Despite Duration of Trial being Short, Impact on Bone Density Discernable in Intervention Group

The trial spanning 12 months was relatively insufficient given the fact that bone takes more time to develop. Despite this, the findings establish marked change in bone density between the group that followed the Mediterranean-style diet and the control group.

The researchers are aiming at more comprehensive study, notably longer clinical trials or in larger group, to see whether the results are on the same lines. This could pave way for diet-mitigation strategies to manage osteoporosis in older adult populations across the globe.

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