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Mediterranean diet enriched with olive oil



Tested for thousands of years Mediterranean food has been acclaimed internationally, not only for its wide variety (fish, rice, beans, meat, olive oil) but also for the health benefits and many properties it exerts.

Mediterranean diet has been associated in several studies with a significant amelioration of multiple risk factors, including among some of them a better cardiovascular risk profile, reduced oxidative stress and modulation of inflammation [12]. Image left: See credits under ref. [4] below.


Family: Oleaceae

Genus: Olea

Common name: Olives



The most commonly used herbs in Mediterranean diet are:

among many others, but if something can be identified as an integral part of the Mediterranean diet is olives, and even more olive oil.

Mediterranean diet can be identified in high consumption of fruits and vegetables, olive oil as the principal source of fat, low consumption of meat and dairy products and moderate consumption of wine [12].

Now, a study reveals other properties that relate to its benefits for bone formation. 

The intake of olive oil has been related to the prevention of osteoporosis [13], however it hasn't been until now that a study on the subject has confirmed how the consumption of a Mediterranean diet enriched with virgin olive oil for 2 years is associated with increased serum osteocalcin, a bone-building protein, and P1NP concentrations, suggesting protective effects on bones [13].

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[1] Carnosol: A promising anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory agent. Johnson JJ. University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacy Practice, USA; University of Illinois at Chicago Cancer Center, Carcinogenesis & Chemoprevention Research Program, USA.
[2] Singletary, K., MacDonald, C., Wallig, M.. Inhibition by rosemary and carnosol of 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA)-induced rat mammary tumorigenesis and in vivo DMBA-DNA adduct formation. Cancer Lett 104 43-48 (1996). Chan, M.M., Ho, C.T., Huang, H.I.. Effects of three dietary phytochemicals from tea, rosemary, and turmeric on inflammation-induced nitrite production.. Cancer Lett 96 23-29 (1995).
[3] Chemopreventive effects of dietary phytochemicals against cancer invasion and metastasis: Phenolic acids, monophenol, polyphenol, and their derivatives. Weng CJ, Yen GC. Graduate Institute of Applied Science of Living, Tainan University of Technology, 529 Zhongzheng Rd., Yongkang District, Tainan City 71002, Taiwan.
[4] Anti-tumorigenic activity of five culinary and medicinal herbs grown under greenhouse conditions and their combination effects. Yi W, Wetzstein HY. Department of Horticulture, 1111 Miller Plant Science Building, The University of Georgia, Athens
[5] Antioxidant activities, total phenolics and HPLC analyses of the phenolic compounds of extracts from common Mediterranean plants. Rababah TM, Ereifej KI, Esoh RB, Al-u'datt MH, Alrababah MA, Yang W. Faculty of Agriculture, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid 22110, Jordan.
[6] Chemical composition and protective effect of oregano (Origanum heracleoticum L.) ethanolic extract on oxidative damage and on inhibition of NO in LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages. Conforti F, Marrelli M, Menichini F, Tundis R, Statti GA, Solimene U, Menichini F. Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy, Nutrition and Health Sciences, University of Calabria, Italy.
[7] Molecular Mechanisms of Anti-cancer Action of Garlic Compounds in Neuroblastoma. Karmakar S, Choudhury SR, Banik NL, Ray SK. Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, South Carolina, USA
[8] The protective effect of the Mediterranean diet on lung cancer. Fortes C, Forastiere F, Farchi S, Mallone S, Trequattrinni T, Anatra F, Schmid G, Perucci CA. Clinical Epidemiology Department, Istituto Dermopatico dell'Immacolata, IDI-IRCCSS, Rome, Italy.
[9] Flavonoids in tropical citrus species. Roowi S, Crozier A. Plant Products and Human Nutrition Group, Graham Kerr Building, School of Medicine, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, United Kingdom.
[10] Anticancer properties of flavonoids: roles in various stages of carcinogenesis. Clere N, Faure S, Martinez MC, Andriantsitohaina R. INSERM UMR U694, Université d'Angers, Angers, France.
[11] Radical scavenging and iron-chelating activities of some greens used as traditional dishes in Mediterranean diet. El SN, Karakaya S. Ege University, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Food Engineering, Izmir, Turkey.
[12] Mediterranean Diet Effect: an Italian picture. Azzini E, Polito A, Fumagalli A, Intorre F, Venneria E, Durazzo A, Zaccaria M, Ciarapica D, Foddai MS, Mauro B, Raguzzini A, Palomba L, Maiani G. National Institute for Food and Nutrition Research, Via Ardeatina 546, 00178 Rome, Italy.
[13] A Mediterranean Diet Enriched with Olive Oil Is Associated with Higher Serum Total Osteocalcin Levels in Elderly Men at High Cardiovascular Risk. Fernández-Real JM, Bulló M, Moreno-Navarrete JM, Ricart W, Ros E, Estruch R, Salas-Salvadó J. Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Nutrition Unit (J.M.F.-R., M.M.-N., W.R.), Hospital Dr. Josep Trueta, 17007 Girona, Spain; Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (J.M.F.-R., M.M.-N., W.R., E.R., R.E., J.S.-S.), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, 28029 Madrid, Spain; Human Nutrition Unit (M.B., J.S.-S.), Facultat de Medicina i Ciències de la Salut, Pere Virgili Health Research Institute, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, 43201 Reus, Spain; and Lipid Clinic (E.R.), Endocrinology and Nutrition Service, and Department of Internal Medicine (R.E.), Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer, the Hospital Clínic, 08036 Barcelona, Spain.
[14] Pixabay image under Public Domain License CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).