A recent study has looked into the connections between high olive oil consumption in the Mediterranean and the lower rates of osteoporosis that people experience there. This only shows a correlation between consuming olive oil and lower rates of osteoporosis, and is not hard evidence.
However, research has shown that olive oil may help prevent bone loss by aiding the osteoblasts that help produce bone mass. More research needs to be done to corroborate this evidence and to show how much, or if, it prevents or reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
Why Is Olive Oil Healthy?
Olive oil is known as a monounsaturated fatty acid, or "good fat", and is preferred over trans and saturated fats, which are unhealthy. Olive oil has several benefits, including regulating blood clotting, lowering cholesterol, controlling blood sugar, and lowering the risk of heart disease.
Olive oil contains polyphenols, which act as antioxidants in the body and help prevent blood clotting. These polyphenols also turn into anti-inflammatory agents when digested. By providing alleviation for inflamed joints, they may provide relief for people suffering from osteoporosis.
What Do Scientists Know?
The link between olive oil and a decreased risk of osteoporosis was suspected by scientists who examined the health of people in the Mediterranean region, which includes several countries such as Spain, Italy, and Greece. The common ties of the diets of some of the cultures of this region have been labeled as the Mediterranean diet, which is rich in olive oil, fish, fruits, legumes, vegetables, and spices. It is low on meat, especially red meat, and sweets.
Olive oil is produced through the pressing of olives. The best kind to consume is extra virgin olive oil, which gets its name from the fact that the olives used to make it are only pressed once, and no additional chemicals are used to extract the oil. Because of this process, extra virgin olive oil has the most nutrients when compared to other types of olive oil.
Should I Take Olive Oil Supplements to Fight Osteoporosis?
Most likely not. Most researchers and doctors recommend using olive oil in cooking to replace other, less healthy fats and oils. More research needs to be done on whether or not olive oil actually prevents osteoporosis and what effects medicinal doses of olive oil have before people start taking olive oil supplements.
More about Osteoporosis
The best way to fight osteoporosis is to prevent it, and you can do that by making sure you get enough calcium and vitamin D from the foods that you eat. It is also important to get regular exercise, especially weight-bearing exercise to prevent osteoporosis. If you have questions about preventing or treating osteoporosis, it is important to talk to your doctor. Click on the following link to find out more about treatments for osteoporosis.
- Hensrud, D. (2014). If olive oil is high in fat, why is it considered healthy? Retrieved October 29, 2015, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/food-and-nutrition/faq-20058439
- García-Martínez O., Rivas A., Ramos-Torrecillas J., De Luna-Bertos E., & Ruiz C. (2014). The effect of olive oil on osteoporosis prevention. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, 65(7), 834-40. doi: 10.3109/09637486.2014.931361