Little old ladies who fall and break their hips nearly always have a bone-thinning condition called osteoporosis. The Mediterranean diet seems to help fight it. From a press release:
“The study is the first long-term, pan-European clinical trial looking at the impact of a Mediterranean diet on bone health in older adults.
More than 1,000 people aged between 65 and 79 took part in the trial, and volunteers were randomised into two groups – one which followed a Mediterranean diet and a control group which did not.Bone density was measured at the start and after 12 months. The diet had no discernible impact on participants with normal bone density, but it did have an effect on those with osteoporosis.
People in the control group continued to see the usual age-related decrease in bone density, but those following the diet saw an equivalent increase in bone density in one part of the body – the femoral neck. This is the area which connects the shaft of the thigh bone to its rounded head, which fits in the hip joint.
UK study lead Prof Susan Fairweather-Tait, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School, said: “This is a particularly sensitive area for osteoporosis as loss of bone in the femoral neck is often the cause of hip fracture, which is common in elderly people with osteoporosis.”