Mediter­ranean diet wins again

Lesotho Times - - Health -

THE Mediter­ranean diet is well­known for its health ben­e­fits on your heart and waist­line, but now your bones could ben­e­fit too, ac­cord­ing to a new study pub­lished on­line by JAMA In­ter­nal Medicine.

In this study, re­searchers ex­am­ined whether diet qual­ity af­fects bone health in post­menopausal women.

They found that women who ate a Mediter­ranean diet were slightly less likely to suf­fer from hip frac­tures.

The Mediter­ranean diet is rel­a­tively easy to fol­low. It in­volves eat­ing veg­eta­bles, fruits, nuts, beans and peas, un­re­fined grains, olive oil and fish.

You should limit the amount of meat, dairy, and sat­u­rated fat you eat, but on the bright side you can have a glass of red wine at din­ner.

Re­searchers an­a­lysed data from 40 clin­i­cal cen­tres through­out the United States in­cluded in the Women’s Health Ini­tia­tive study. The anal­y­sis in­cluded 90 014 women with an av­er­age age of 64. Par­tic­i­pants de­scribed their di­ets in a WHI food fre­quency ques­tion­naire at the start of the study.

Re­searchers then

com­pared their di­etary pat­terns to four com­mon healthy di­ets, in­clud­ing the Mediter­ranean diet, the Di­etary Ap­proaches to Stop Hy­per­ten­sion (DASH) and two oth­ers.

Nearly 16 years later, there were 2,121 cases of hip frac­tures and 28 718 cases of to­tal frac­tures. Women who ad­hered the most to a Mediter­ranean diet were 0.29 per­cent less likely to suf­fer from a hip frac­ture than women who didn’t stick to the diet. The other three di­ets showed neg­li­gi­ble suc­cess.

“Our re­sults pro­vide as­sur­ance that widely rec­om­mended eat­ing pat­terns do not in­crease the risk of frac­tures,” said lead study au­thor Dr Bern­hard Har­ing of the Univer­sity of Wurzburg in Ger­many. “This be­ing said, the av­er­age woman should fol­low a healthy life­style which in­cludes adopt­ing a healthy di­etary pat­tern and be­ing phys­i­cally ac­tive.”

Os­teo­poro­sis-re­lated frac­tures are a ma­jor bur­den for health care sys­tems in ag­ing so­ci­eties, with women par­tic­u­larly af­fected, said Dr. Har­ing.

Cur­rent re­search re­sults have been in­con­clu­sive about whether in­take of nu­tri­ents in­volved in bone me­tab­o­lism can pre­vent frac­tures.

How­ever, the re­sults of this study sug­gest that a healthy diet, specif­i­cally a Mediter­ranean diet, might play a small role in main­tain­ing bone health in post­menopausal women.

This lat­est Mediter­ranean diet re­search builds on pre­vi­ous ev­i­dence that your health might ben­e­fit if you fol­low this diet. It’s been shown that the Mediter­ranean diet can keep your brain young, help you live longer, man­age your weight bet­ter, and lower your risk for cancer and car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­eases.

“At the present time, the US health sys­tem al­most en­tirely ig­nores nu­tri­tion in favour of phar­ma­col­ogy and is hugely ex­pen­sive and in­ef­fec­tive com­pared with the sys­tems in other coun­tries,” wrote Dr. Wal­ter Willett of Har­vard School of Pub­lic Health, in a re­lated com­men­tary.

“In­te­gra­tion of the Mediter­ranean diet and re­lated di­etary pat­terns into med­i­cal prac­tice, hos­pi­tals, schools and other in­sti­tu­tions has the po­ten­tial to im­prove well­be­ing.”


Re­sults of the study sug­gest a healthy diet might play a role in main­tain­ing bone health.

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