Researchers from University of East Anglia suggested that consuming a Mediterranean-type diet could reduce bone loss in people with osteoporosis.
In a pioneering long-term, pan-European clinical trial, researchers from University of East Anglia observed the effects of a Mediterranean diet on bone density in older adults. The trial included over 1,000 people aged between 65 and 79 who were randomized into two groups. One group followed a Mediterranean diet whereas the other group followed normal diet. The bone density of all the participants was measured at the start of the trial and after a period of 12 months. It was observed that the Mediterranean diet showed no visible effects on participants with normal bone density. However, distinguishable effects were seen in the bone density of people suffering from osteoporosis. People in the control group showed age related symptoms of decrease in bone density. However, those following Mediterranean diet observed significant increase in bone density of the femoral neck that connects the shaft of the thigh bone to its rounded head, which fits in the hip joint. The femoral neck is highly sensitive to osteoporosis and loss of bone in this area often leads to hip fracture.
The group that followed Mediterranean diet increased their intake of seafood, fruits, veggies, whole grains, and olive oil. People in the control group consumed foods such as olive oil and whole meal pasta, and small vitamin D supplements. Bone density and blood samples were collected to check for circulating biomarkers. Measurements of bone density revealed that around 10% suffered from osteoporosis at the start of the study. It was easier for the researchers to observer changes in bone density of people with osteoporosis as they lost bone at a much faster rate than others who lost bone more slowly due to the natural process of aging. The researchers stated that longer trails are required to strengthen the results of the study as bone formation is a longer process.