In the last few years, medical articles claim olive oil helps build strong bones. A short article at the People’s Pharmacy website, “Olive Oil for Strong Bones,” is an example, citing research from the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Some people in the comment section of these articles suggest a bias view from European researchers making this claim with financial help from the olive industry. However, there is a good medical basis for the claim.
The research claims that people who consume olive oil have high blood levels of an amino acid protein called osteocalcin. Osteocalcin is “the most important non-collagen protein in bone matrix, accounts for approximately 1% of the total protein in human bone,” according to the Mayo Clinic. The Linus Pauling Institute states that osteocalcin is a vitamin K dependent protein, and may be important in bone mineralization or bone building.
Olive oil along with canola oil is a decent source of vitamin K, as can be seen in the Nutrition Data of vitamin K. With olive oil containing good levels of vitamin K, increasing blood levels of the bone building protein osteocalcin by consuming olive oil is a logical conclusion.
In addition to building strong bones, olive oil is also associated with heart health, improved cognitive function and cancer prevention, as summarized by Whole Foods.
Vitamin K is also found in higher amounts in dark green, leafy vegetable like kale, spinach and collard greens. To help increase your bone density, eat a salad with these dark green, leafy vegetables topped with extra virgin olive oil. Another reason why a Mediterranean type of diet improves your overall health.
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