Italian film legend Sophia Loren attributes her natural beauty to “spaghetti and the odd bath in virgin olive oil.” I haven’t tried it myself. But Sophia seems to be on to something about the health benefits of olive oil. Greek researchers recently looked at the connection between women who eat lots of olive oil and fish – and not a lot of red meat – and their bone health.
The Greeks took a different approach from past studies. Others have focused on the relation between a particular nutrient, such as calcium, and bone health.
The Greek study, conducted at Harokopio University in Athens, examined the impact of what people eat. The study looked at the Mediterranean diet, which is rich in olive oil and plant foods such as fruits and vegetables. It also also studied other eating patterns. The results appeared in the journal Nutrition.
The researchers followed 220 adult Greek women. X-ray technology was used to analyze the bone mineral density of the women’s lumbar spines as well as the bone mineral content of their entire bodies.
The study’s conclusion: Sticking to a diet with some features of the Mediterranean diet – “high consumption of fish and olive oil and low red meat intake” – was “positively related to bone mass.”
The researchers said the results suggest “potential bone-preserving properties of this (dietary) pattern throughout adult life.”
Apparently, Sophia Loren was on to something that scientists hadn’t quite grasped … until now.
Claude S. Weiller
Vice President of Sales & Marketing
California Olive Ranch