Many postmenopausal women and even some men are affected by osteoporosis – a disease that causes loss of bone density and increases the risk of bone fractures. Osteoporosis is more common in certain high risk people including those with a family history, people with small bones, smokers, people who have a sedentary lifestyle, and those who don’t get enough calcium and vitamin D. Is there a way to prevent bone loss naturally? According to a new study, olive extract could be a natural way to preserve bone health.
Olive Extract for Healthy Bones: Can I Prevent Osteoporosis?
According to a study published in the journal Osteoporosis International, a compound in olives called oleuropein may be important for bone health. Researchers studied the effects of this natural compound found in olives on stem cells from the bone marrow of humans.
Stem cells from the bone marrow produce osteoblasts, cells that make bone. These cells are opposed by osteoclasts, which break down bone – so that there’s a constant turnover of bone tissue going on.
When researchers added oleuropein to human stem cells, it caused bone-producing osteoblasts to expand in number. Other studies show that oleuropein has an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect, which helps to inhibit osteoclasts, the cells that break bone down. The combination of these two factors bodes well for healthy bones and the prevention of osteoporosis.
Olive Extract for Bone Health: Does It Look Promising?
Research is still in the early stages but scientists found similar bone boosting benefits in animal studies. Larger scale studies are still needed in humans, but there’s epidemiological evidence to support olive extract. In countries that eat a Mediterranean diet rich in olives and olive oil, there is a low rate of osteoporosis. There’s no proof that it’s due to the olives, but when combined with this new evidence, it looks promising.
Food manufacturers are hoping to add olive extract to foods to create “functional foods” that would reduce the risk of osteoporosis. It’s too early to recommend olive extract for healthy bones, so continue to get enough calcium and vitamin D – and wait for further research.
Nutraingredients.com. “Science strengthens for olive extract’s bone benefits”