Mediterranean Diet Could Help to Slow Aging and Prevent Bone Loss, Study Says

By , Melissa Rudy, Health & Fitness Journalist
As if there weren't already enough benefits to warrant trying the Mediterranean diet—like improved heart healthreduced inflammation and greater overall wellnessnew research shows that this type of eating plan could slow down the aging process and prevent bone loss.

This NU-AGE-funded study—which was the first to examine the effects of the Mediterranean diet on seniors—analyzed the gut microbes of 1,142 people over 65 years of age across five European countries. Participants who ate the NU-AGE Mediterranean style diet showed far lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), which increases when there is inflammation in the body. That inflammation can be a sign of more serious problems, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or heart disease, and it's also been linked to biologic aging.

Another perk of the Mediterranean diet is that seniors with osteoporosis showed reduced bone loss. With more than three million people suffering from this condition each year, this is a significant benefit. (There are also other diet changes that can help to prevent osteoporosis.)

According to SparkPeople's nutritionist Becky Hand, the Mediterranean diet is a "composite of traditional cuisine and dishes from the regions that border the Mediterranean Sea (including Spain, Southern France, Southern Italy, Greece, Crete, parts of North Africa, parts of Turkey and parts of the Middle East)."

What do you think? Would you be interested in trying the Mediterranean diet as a way to slow down the aging process and protect bone health?