Mediterranean Diet May Provide Better Bone Health for Postmenopausal Women

More and more health officials have advocated for the Mediterranean diet over the past few years as continuous studies demonstrate both the immediate and long term health benefits. Sure enough, too, a new study suggests that the Mediterranean diet might also be linked to lower hip fracture risk in postmenopausal women.

In a new report University of Wurzburg physician Dr. Bernhard Haring notes, “The finding is important mainly because it shows that following the Mediterranean diet and other related diets, which do not emphasize the intake of dairy foods, is not linked with a higher risk of hip fractures.”

Mediterranean-DietOf course, this is an interesting link, as “dairy” foods are often advised for strong bones as Calcium and Vitamin D are important for bone health. Of course, these two nutrients can also be found in dark leafy greens, which are common to the Mediterranean diet.

The lead study author goes on to say, “There is strong evidence that an overall healthy dietary pattern, and specifically a Mediterranean-type diet, provides important health benefits,” including cardiovascular disease prevention. “It was important,” he says, “to show that a Mediterranean diet as well as other dietary patterns do not increase the rate of hip fractures,” despite a less substantial focus on the consumption of dairy foods.

However, he also notes, it is quite unfortunate that the US—among other national health care systems—largely ignore the importance of measuring nutrition and lifestyle factors, choosing instead to favor pharmacology. On the contrary, he argues, bettering adherence to specific dietary recommendations and guidelines—like the US government’s 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans—would likely have better public health effects, to include the reduction of overall health care costs while inversely improving overall health.

More specifically, the study advises that women who strictly adhere to the Mediterranean diet—which emphasizes whole fruits and vegetables, nuts and legumes, and whole grains—tend to have a lower risk for hip fracture than those women who do not adhere to the Mediterranean diet. At the same time, though, the absolute risk reduction was actually quite small. The numbers show, in fact, only a 0.29 percent lower risk for women on the Mediterranean diet compared against those not sticking to the Mediterranean diet.