(HealthDay News) – Consumption of olive oil in addition to a Mediterranean diet correlates with increased osteocalcin levels and improvements in bone formation markers in elderly men at high cardiovascular risk.
José Manuel Fernández-Real, MD, PhD, from the Hospital Dr. Josep Trueta in Girona, Spain, and colleagues conducted a prospective study to examine the effect of olive oil consumption on circulating osteocalcin in humans. Elderly men at high cardiovascular risk were randomly allocated to a low-fat control diet (34 participants); a Mediterranean diet enriched in nuts (MedDiet + nuts; 51 participants); or a MedDiet enriched with virgin olive oil (MedDiet + VOO; 42 participants). The men were followed for two years.
The researchers observed a significant increase in total osteocalcin concentration in the MedDiet + VOO group, but not in the MedDiet + nuts or the control diet. Similar increases were seen in procollagen I N-terminal propeptide concentration and homeostasis model assessment-β-cell function in the MedDiet + VOO group. In the total cohort, consumption of olives correlated positively with baseline total osteocalcin and two-year osteocalcin concentrations.
“In summary, the consumption of a MedDiet enriched with virgin olive oil for two years is associated with increased serum osteocalcin concentrations that parallel an increase in β-cell function in elderly men at high cardiovascular risk, suggesting a protective effect on bone,” the authors write.
Two authors disclosed nonpaid board memberships, one to the International Nut Council and one to the California Walnut Commission.