The intake of olive oil has been related to the prevention of osteoporosis in experimental and in in vitro models. Very few prospective studies have evaluated the effects of olive oil intake on circulating osteocalcin (OC) in humans.
Consumption of a Mediterranean diet enriched with virgin olive oil for 2 years is associated with increased serum osteocalcin and P1NP concentrations, suggesting protective effects on bone.
The available large prospective studies supporting an inverse association between better adherence to the Mediterranean diet and lower mortality have mainly included older adults.
Cretan Mediterranean diet adapted to a Western population protected against coronary heart disease much more efficiently than did the prudent diet. Thus, it appears that the favorable life expectancy of the Cretans could be largely due to their diet.
MD increased plasma vitamin C, beta-carotene and total antioxidant reactivity (TAR). OD increased plasma vitamin E. Wine supplementation, analyzed combining both diet groups, raised plasma vitamin C, beta-carotene, uric acid, TAR, plasma and urinary polyphenols and decreased plasma vitamin E. Also wine intake increased concentration of red blood cell (RBC) glutathione while significantly decreasing plasma glutathione. In oxidative damage measurements OD group showed higher concentration of 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) in DNA from peripheral blood leukocytes and plasma nitrotyrosine, when compared with MD group. Wine intake significantly decreased 8-OHdG and plasma nitrotyrosine in both diets, particularly in OD.
The traditional Mediterranean diet is characterized by a high intake of vegetables, legumes, fruits and nuts, and cereals (that in the past were largely unrefined), and a high intake of olive oil but a low intake of saturated lipids, a moderately high intake of fish (depending on the proximity of the sea), a low-to-moderate intake of dairy products (and then mostly in the form of cheese or yogurt), a low intake of meat and poultry, and a regular but moderate intake of ethanol, primarily in the form of wine and generally during meals. Ecologic evidence suggesting beneficial health effects of the Mediterranean diet has emerged from the classic studies of Keys.
The Mediterranean-type diet combines several foods and nutrients already individually proposed as potential protective factors against adverse health outcomes, such as cardiovascular diseases. The aim of the present study was to describe the association between adherence to a Mediterranean diet (MeDi) and intake of energy, macronutrients, and micronutrients. This cross-sectional study provides the nutrient-related basis of the Mediterranean-type diet of French elderly community dwellers, which might participate to its well-documented beneficial effects on health.