Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mediterranean diet has beneficial effects on women's bone health

A study from the Harokopio University of Athens (Greece) suggests that adherence to a dietary pattern close to the Mediterranean diet, with high consumption of fish and olive oil and low red meat intake, has a significant impact in women skeletal health.

Results suggest that this eating pattern could have bone-preserving properties throughout adult life.

Diet is one of the modifiable factors for the development and maintenance of bone mass. The nutrients of most obvious relevance to bone health are calcium and phosphorus because they compose roughly 80% to 90% of the mineral content of bone; protein, other minerals and vitamins are also essential in bone preservation.

Traditional analysis has focused on the relation between a specific nutrient (e.g. calcium) and bone health. But, researchers of the Harokopio University of Athens, Greece, carried out a study in two hundred twenty adult Greek women, which is valuable for the understanding of the effect of meals, consisting of several food items, in skeletal mass.

Scientists examined whether adherence to the Mediterranean Diet, rich in plant foods and olive oil, low in meat and dairy products, and with moderate intake of alcohol, or other dietary patterns, have any significant impact on bone mass maintenance in adult Greek women. They determined that adherence to a dietary pattern with some of the features of the Mediterranean diet, i.e., rich in fish and olive oil and low in red meat and products, is positively associated with the indices of bone mass.

These results suggest that this eating pattern could have bone-preserving properties throughout adult life.

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Kontogianni et al. Association between dietary patterns and indices of bone mass in a sample of Mediterranean women. Nutrition, 2009; 25 (2): 165

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