Osteoporosis is a pressing concern facing public health, thus making research into the effects of nutrients on bone health particularly important. Evidence from preclinical studies using animal models and a limited number of studies in human suggests that olive oil (OO) is a protective agent for bone. The aim of this work is to study the effects of virgin olive oil (VOO) consumption by ovariectomized rats on bone health. A total of 48 6-month-old female Wistar rats weighing 320 ± 10 g (mean ± SD) were divided into the following groups: SHAM (n = 12), simulated intervention; OVX (n = 12), ovariectomized; OVX + 100 (n = 12), ovariectomized and treated with VOO (100 µL/day by oral gavage); and OVX + 200 (n = 12) ovariectomized and treated with VOO (200 µL/day by oral gavage), all over 3 months. Femoral (F) and lumbar (L) bone mineral density (FBMD and LBMD), microtomographic parameters, fractal dimension D2D and D3D, and biomechanical properties were studied. After 3 months of VOO treatment, although FBMD and LBMD were not affected, bone quality was improved, as the elasticity of bone and fractal dimension (complexity of bone) were more similar to healthy bone. Our results support the findings of previous research suggesting that dietary intake of olive oil may exert beneficial effect on some bone characteristics.
Keywords: Young’s modulus; fractal dimension; olive oil; osteoporosis.