Olive Oil May Protect Older Men's Bones
"Consumption of a Mediterranean diet enriched with virgin olive oil for 2 years is associated with increased serum osteocalcin . . . suggesting protective effects on bone," according to Spanish researchers led by José Manuel Fernández-Real. The team studied bone formation markers in elderly men at high cardiovascular risk and published their findings in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
They compared a diet high in olive oil with a diet high in nuts, and a control diet. The olive oil was the clear winner. "The intake of olive oil has been related to the prevention of osteoporosis in experimental and in in vitro models," they wrote. "Very few prospective studies have evaluated the effects of olive oil intake on circulating osteocalcin (OC) in humans."
The researchers acknowledged some limitations of the study but they maintain that their findings "concur with experimental reports that associate the consumption of olives, olive oil, and oleuropein with the prevention of bone mass loss in animal models of osteoporosis."