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Mediterranean Diet Components Boost Bone Density

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Thanks once again to Al Pater for finding this new study [1]. Researchers followed 2400 Chinese people for 3 years and compared their adherence to a Mediterranean diet (MD) with their bone mineral density (BMD) score. From the full text, Al pulled out the key passage:
Of the nine components, higher intakes of whole grain, fruit, nuts, and a
lower intake of red and processed meats were significantly associated with a
higher BMD at several bone sites. No significant associations were found for
the other five components (vegetable, legume, fish, MUF/SF, and alcohol) in
this study (Supplemental Table 1). After excluding the non-significant
components from the calculation of the aMed scores, more significant
associations were observed.
It was interesting that some foods considered healthy (whole grains, fruit and nuts) were associated with higher BMD, but others (vegetables, legumes, fish, olive oil) were not. This would seem to suggest something else is going on besides the simple explanation that people who eat a better diet are more likely to engage other health (and bone) promoting practices too, like exercise.
[1] Sci Rep. 2016 May 9;6:25662. doi: 10.1038/srep25662.
Adherence to the Mediterranean diet is associated with a higher BMD in
middle-aged and elderly Chinese.
Chen GD, Dong XW, Zhu YY, Tian HY, He J, Chen YM.
Previous studies showed that better adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MD)
is associated with lower risk of chronic diseases, but limited data are
available on bone health. We investigated the association of the MD with
bone mineral density (BMD) in Chinese adults. We included 2371 participants
aged 40-75 years in this community-based cross-sectional study. Dietary
information was assessed at baseline and a 3-year follow-up. Alternate
Mediterranean diet (aMed) scores were calculated. BMD was determined at the
second survey. After adjusting for potential covariates, higher aMed scores
were positively and dose-dependently associated with BMD (all P-trends <
0.05). The BMD values were 1.94% (whole body), 3.01% (lumbar spine), 2.80%
(total hip), 2.81% (femur neck), 2.62% (trochanter), and 2.85%
(intertrochanter) higher in the quintile 5 (highest, vs. quintile 1) aMed
scores for all of the subjects (all P-values < 0.05). Similar associations
were found after stratifying by gender (P-interaction = 0.338-0.968). After
excluding the five non-significant components of vegetables, legumes, fish,
monounsaturated to saturated fat ratio, and alcohol intake from the aMed
scores, the percentage mean differences were substantially increased by
69.1-150% between the extreme quintiles. In conclusion, increased adherence
to the MD shows protective associations with BMD in Chinese adults.
PMID: 27157300


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