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Mediterranean Diet Enriched With Olive Oil May Protect Bone

ScienceDaily (Aug. 15, 2012) — A study to be published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM) shows consumption of a Mediterranean diet enriched with olive oil for two years is associated with increased serum osteocalcin concentrations, suggesting a protective effect on bone. Age-related bone mass loss and decreased bone strength affects women and men alike are an important determinant of osteoporosis and fracture risk. Studies have shown that the incidence of osteoporosis in Europe is lower in the Mediterranean basin. The traditional Mediterranean diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, with a high intake of olives and olive oil could be one of the environmental factors underlying this difference. “The intake of olive oil has been related to the prevention of osteoporosis in experimental and in vitro models,” said José Manuel Fernández-Real, MD, PhD, of Hospital Dr. Josep Trueta in Girona, Spain and lead author of the study. “This is the first randomized study which demonstrates that olive oil preserves bone, at least as inferred by circulating bone markers, in humans.” The participants in this study were 127 community-dwelling men aged 55 to 80 years randomly selected from one of the Prevencion con Dieta Mediterranea (PREDIMED) study centers who had at least two years of follow-up. The PREDIMED study is a large, parallel group, randomized, controlled trial aimed to assess the effect of the Mediterranean diet on the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.For this study, subjects were elderly without prior cardiovascular disease but having a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes or harboring at least three cardiovascular risk factors, namely hypertension, dyslipidemia, or a family history of premature cardiovascular disease. Participants were randomly assigned to three intervention groups: Mediterranean diet with mixed nuts, Mediterranean diet with virgin olive oil, and a low-fat diet. Biochemical measurements of osteocalcin, glucose, total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and triglycerides were performed at baseline and after two year follow-up on fasting blood samples. Researchers found that only consumption of the Mediterranean diet with olive oil was associated with a significant increase in the concentrations of total osteocalcin and other bone formation markers. There were also no significant changes in serum calcium in subjects taking olive oil whereas serum calcium decreased significantly in the other two groups. “It’s important to note that circulating osteocalcin was associated with preserved insulin secretion in subjects taking olive oil,” added Fernández-Real. “Osteocalcin has also been described to increase insulin secretion in experimental models.” Other researchers who helped with the study included Mónica Bulló, José Maria Moreno-Navarrete, Wifredo Ricart, Emilio Ros, Ramon Estruch, and Jordi Salas-Salvadó of Instituto de Salud Carlos III in Madrid, Spain.

Retrieved August 24, 2012, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2012/08/120815082608.htm

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Using Olive Oil in Your Diet May Prevent a Stroke

ScienceDaily (June 16, 2011) — A new study suggests that consuming olive oil may help prevent a stroke in older people. The research is published in the June 15, 2011, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. "Our research suggests that a new set of dietary recommendations should be issued to prevent stroke in people 65 and older," said study author Cécilia Samieri, PhD, with the University of Bordeaux and the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) in Bordeaux, France. "Stroke is so common in older people and olive oil would be an inexpensive and easy way to help prevent it."For the study, researchers looked at the medical records of 7,625 people ages 65 and older from three cities in France: Bordeaux, Dijon and Montpellier. Participants had no history of stroke. Olive oil consumption was categorized as "no use," "moderate use" such as using olive oil in cooking or as dressing or with bread, and "intensive use," which included using olive oil for both cooking and as dressing or with bread. Samieri said the study participants mainly used extra virgin olive oil, as that is 98 percent of what is available in France.After a little over five years, there were 148 strokes.After considering diet, physical activity, body mass index and other risk factors for stroke, the study found that those who regularly used olive oil for both cooking and as dressing had a 41 percent lower risk of stroke compared to those who never used olive oil in their diet (1.5 percent in six years compared to 2.6 percent).Olive oil has been associated with potentially protective effects against many cardiovascular risk factors, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity. In an accompanying editorial, Nikolaos Scarmeas, MD, of Columbia University and a member of the American Academy of Neurology noted that it is not clear which particular elements of olive oil could be protective, while the effects of olive oil could even be indirect by making other healthy foods tastier. He also cautioned that only future clinical trials can increase confidence in the findings and potentially lead to stroke prevention recommendations. The study was supported by INSERM, the Institute of Health and Public Development, Sanofi-Aventis, the Foundation for Medical Research, the National Workers Health Fund, the General Directorate of Health, the Mutual General of National Education, the Institute of Longevity, the Regional Governments of Aquitaine and Bourgogne, the Foundation of France, the Ministry of Research, the French National Research Agency, and Lipids for Industry, Safety and Health

Quoted from ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 24, 2012, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2011/06/110615161749.htm

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Key Mechanism Links Virgin Olive Oil to Protection Against Breast Cancer 


Researchers at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, led by Dr Eduard Escrich, have discovered a key mechanism by which virgin olive oil, in contrast to other vegetable oils, protects the body against breast cancer. The UAB researchers have decoded a complete cascade of signals within breast tumour cells activated by virgin olive oil, and have concluded that benefits include decrease in the activity of the oncogene p21Ras, changes in protein signaling pathways, stimulation of tumour cell death and prevention of DNA damage. The study has been carried out in an experimental model and researchers have already begun a new study with human cell lines.Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in Western countries. Research carried out with animal models demonstrate that a diet rich in fats is directly related to the incidence of cancer. Some types of fats however can play a protective role against the development of these tumours. Such is the case of virgin olive oil, rich in oleic acid, a mono-unsaturated fatty acid, and containing several bioactive compounds such as antioxidants. A moderate and regular intake of virgin olive oil, characteristic of the Mediterranean diet, is associated with low incidences of specific types of cancer, including breast cancer, as well as with having a protective role against coronary diseases and other health problems.The study carried out by UAB researchers decoded the mechanisms operating within the tumour cell and induced by the intake of olive oil, in comparison to those activated by corn oil, rich in n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which increase the aggressiveness of tumours. Scientists demonstrated that virgin olive oil is associated with higher incidences of benign breast tumours and at the same time with a decrease in the activity of the p21Ras oncogene, which spurs uncontrolled cell proliferation and stimulates the growth of tumours. In addition, olive oil suppresses the activity of some proteins, such as the AKT, essential for the survival of cells since they prevent apoptosis, the cell's "suicide" programme. Between proliferation and apoptosis in tumour cells, these effects tip the balance towards cell death, thereby slowing the growth of tumours. Another result obtained by researchers is the protection of DNA in the cell nucleus. Cells from animals fed a diet rich in virgin olive oil contained less DNA lesions than those fed a control diet.Scientists of the UAB Breast Cancer Study Multidisciplinary Group (GMECM) have spent over twenty years working to determine the effects fats have on breast cancer, and in particular the effects of virgin olive oil. Previous studies of the group revealed the beneficial effects of this component of the human diet on the clinical conduct of mammary tumours and on their histological grade (malignancy). Scientists also described several molecular mechanisms producing these effects and in 2004 the same group was the one to identify the four genes involved in the effects dietary fats have on experimental breast cancer. 

Quoted from Science Daily (June 30, 2010)
The mechanism recently discovered was published in the journal Carcinogenesis.

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The beneficial virtues of Saffron

Saffron, the gold valuable Spezia employed in some plates of the Mediterranean kitchen and in most famous of the risotti, could contain one of the keys in order to prevent the loss of the sight in advanced age. The conclusions of a search lead from a group of students of the ARC Center of Excellence in Vision Science guided from Silvia Bisti are these, in collaboration with the University of the Studies Aquila, by which it is emerged that saffron has remarkable effects on the geniuses that regulate the performances of the responsible cells of the sight. By the lead clinical test on the sick ones of macular degeneration it is emerged that the premature treatment with a dietetic supplement of saffron can repair the damages provoked to the cells of the eyes. The search has demonstrated that extracted from the crocus flower not only protect the fotorecettrici cells from the damages, but can also slow down, and eventually cancel, the course of degenerate diseases that progressively carry to the blindness like the macular degeneration and the pigmentosa retinite one.


Quoted from Toscana Medica News,  May 28th, 2009


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Olive oils great effects

A test (gone on for ten years) was made on 5.000 people 65/85 years old. After this period their state of health was checked. Here are the results:
people who daily used from 30 to 140 olive oil grams were healthier than people who used none. Their minds resulted such lucid minds to consent the following affirmation: "olive oil perfectly lubricated their meninx !" . Use of olive oil seems to prevent coronary thrombosis; relaxes, keeps memory alived and so on....

Quoted from La Nazione,  July 6th, 2001


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Disclaimer: These articles are not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.