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Mediterranean diet protects osteoporosis patients from fractures


People with osteoporosis should eat a Mediterranean diet

Researchers have now found that osteoporosis patients should best eat what is known as a Mediterranean diet. In many cases, this could prevent those affected from breaking their hips.

In their current study, scientists from the University of Bologna and the University of East Anglia found that a Mediterranean diet can prevent dangerous hip fractures in many people with osteoporosis. The doctors published the results of their study in the English-language journal "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition".

Older people should eat these foods

A diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, untreated grains, olive oil and fish can prevent bone loss in the elderly. The experts found this in their long-term analysis of the effects of diet on bone health in older adults. British, French, Dutch and Polish researchers were involved in the study.

Doctors examined almost 1,150 subjects

Almost 1,150 volunteers were medically observed over a year for the examination. At the beginning and at the end of the EU-funded study, the bone density of the test subjects was measured. Half of the participants, who were all between 65 and 79 years old, were asked to eat a Mediterranean diet. The other subjects were eating normally.

The femoral neck is a particularly sensitive area for osteoporosis

The diet had no significant influence on the participants with a normal bone density. However, it has been found that a Mediterranean diet has benefits for osteoporosis patients. All osteoporosis patients who did not eat a Mediterranean diet showed the usual age-related decrease in bone density. However, if the participants adhered to the Mediterranean diet, an increase in bone density in the femoral neck could be observed. This is the area that connects the shaft of the femur to the rounded head that fits into the hip joint. This area is a particularly sensitive area for osteoporosis, as bone loss in the femoral neck is often the cause of hip fractures, explains study author Professor Susan Fairweather-Tait from the University of East Anglia.

Eat these foods

More fruit and fish and less sugary drinks and snacks are the most important aspects of a Mediterranean diet. People should take more fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, lettuce, whole grains, fish, meat and monounsaturated fats like olive oil.

Avoid consuming these foods

Consuming certain foods should be avoided with a healthy diet. These include, for example, saturated fats (butter), red meat, processed foods (juice and white bread), lemonade and sugar.

The result is significant

Bones take a long time to form. Therefore, the 12-month study, although one of the longest, was still a relatively short time frame to examine the effects of the diet. The fact that there was a clear difference in the area of ​​the femoral neck is therefore quite significant, the researchers explain.

More research is needed

Bone density was measured in both groups on the lumbar spine, lower back and femoral neck. In the future, a longer study would allow experts to measure changes in volunteers with normal bone density. The researchers are also requesting a longer study in patients with osteoporosis to check their results. If the condition could be alleviated through the diet, it would be a welcome addition to current drug treatments for osteoporosis, which can have serious side effects, the study authors emphasize. (as)

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