When you think of foods that help keep your bones strong and avoid osteoporosis, what comes to mind? Milk, cheese, dairy foods high in calcium and fortified with vitamin D? Leafy greens? Protein? Nuts? Well they all have their place but here’s one that surprised me. Extra Virgin Olive oil.
Osteoporosis affects men and women and fractures, hip fractures in particular, are associated with increased all-cause mortality among older individuals. So this affects us all. Extra virgin olive oil, which is rich in the polyphenol oleuropein, helps prevent two underlying causes of osteoporosis: inflammation and oxidative stress. It has also been shown to help maintain the delicate balance between the breakdown and rebuilding of bone.
We know inflammation is the root of all chronic disease and osteoporosis is no exception. Inflammation disrupts the balance between the cells that break down bone (osteoclasts) and those that build up new bone (osteoblasts), so bone breaks down faster than new bone can be formed, which leads to osteoporosis.
Studies show that the oleuropein inhibits enzymes that make pro-inflammatory signaling molecules, reduces oxidative stress in tissues and stimulates multiplication of bone-forming osteoblasts, helping to restore the balance of bone absorption and formation in favor of stronger bones.
The recommendation is for older adults in particular to consume about 1 to 2.3 ounces of extra virgin olive oil daily as part of their diet. You can also get olive fruit polyphenols in certain dietary supplements.
A recent study found that people who consume the most extra virgin olive oil have less than half the risk of experiencing an osteoporosis-related fracture compared to those who consumed the least.
Extra virgin olive oil is the only olive oil that reliably contains the highest concentrations of oleuropein and other beneficial compounds. So including this healthy fat in your salad dressings and over veggies as much as possible may just help keep your bones strong.
Do you regularly use extra virgin olive oil?
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Wonderful to know ma’am. My Italian-heritaged wife introduced me to EVOO years ago, and we use it quite often. Great to know there’s even more benefits than what’s often publicized.
As a Greek who is married to an Italian, it made me happy too my friend!!
Well I remember my grandmother telling me when she was a little girl in Greece and they used to run up to the olive oil vats with
a piece of bread to dip in it. We have always used olive oil – especially EVOO – and since my husband is Italian – it’s a family thing!! LOL
Ann,I love olive oil on my salads. I have never heard that it’s good for bones. I think of all the years they told us to not eat fat and oils. I’m glad they know differently now.
Exactly Debbie. Fats are not the problem – the type of fats is what is important.
Great news! I love EVOO on salads. In fact, I’m about to have one now. Thanks for the great info, Ann!
I love making people happy Holly!!