New findings from a pan-European trial suggest that following a Mediterranean-like dietary pattern could help to reduce osteoporosis in older adults.
The New Dietary Strategies Addressing the Specific Needs of the Elderly Population for Healthy Aging in Europe (NU-AGE) trial recruited 1,294 participants aged between 65-79 years from five European countries. Participants were randomised to either follow a Mediterranean-like diet for one year or to a control group. Those in the intervention group received individually tailored dietary advice, in addition to supplies of certain foods and a vitamin D3 supplement (10µg/day). Bone density was measured at the start of the trial and after 12 months.
A total of 1,142 participants completed the study. The authors found there were no beneficial changes in bone mineral density (BMD) in individuals with BMD in the normal range at baseline. However, subgroup analysis of individuals with osteoporosis at baseline (n=54) showed consumption of the Mediterranean-like diet with vitamin D3 reduced the rate of femoral neck bone loss, but not total body or spinal BMD loss. The researchers said further research is needed to confirm this "significant and interesting” finding.
The study is published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.