Preliminary results demonstrating the impact of Mediterranean diet on bone health

Maria Cristina Savanelli, Luigi Barrea, Paolo Emidio Macchia, Silvia Savastano, Andrea Falco, Andrea Renzullo, Elisabetta Scarano, Immacolata Cristina Nettore, Annamaria Colao, Carolina Somma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Nutrition is an environmental factor affecting bone health. Nutrition is considered essential to achieve and maintain optimal bone mass. Mediterranean diet (MD) has shown to prevent bone disease. Aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between bone health status and adherence the MD. Methods: Four-hundred eighteen healthy people (105 males and 313 females, age 50 ± 14 years) were recruited in the outdoor hospital of the "Campus Salute Onlus" held in Piazza del Plebiscito in Naples, October 17-20th 2013 and 09-11th October 2014. All subjects underwent clinical assessment, calcaneal quantitative ultrasound (QUS) scanner and PREvención con DIeta MEDiterránea (PREDIMED) questionnaire. Results: Globally, prevalence of osteoporosis and osteopenia were 7.7 and 46.0%, respectively. The majority of subjects (60.5%) had an average score (score 6-9) of adherence to MD. The T-score showed positive correlation with PREDIMED score (r = 0.250, p < 0.001). The higher T-scores were positively associated with a higher consumption of extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), vegetables, fruits, legumes, and fish and negatively associated with consumption of red meat. The higher T-scores were positively associated with the highest odds of PREDIMED scores (higher adherence) (OR 6.91, IC 6.27-7.61, p < 0.001). Multiple regression analysis models indicated that, among the single food items investigated, high T-score can be predicted by consumption of EVOO (p < 0.001), fish (p < 0.001) and fruit (p = 0.002) intake. A PREDIMED score of 3 was found to be predictive for a low T-score (α = 0.05, R-squared index = 0.417). Conclusions: The results demonstrate a positive correlation between bone health status and adherence to MD, suggesting that a high adherence to MD promotes bone health. The observations here reported confirmed that a specific dietary approach, such as MD, can represent a modifiable environmental factor for osteoporosis' prevention.

Original languageEnglish
Article number81
JournalJournal of Translational Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 24 2017


  • Bone health
  • Calcaneal quantitative ultrasound (QUS) scanner
  • Environmental factors
  • Imaging techniques
  • Mediterranean diet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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