Mediterranean Diet Seems to Lower Fall Risk

September 21, 2020

Adherence to a Mediterranean diet is associated with improved musculoskeletal health and fewer falls, according to study data presented at the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) annual meeting held earlier this month.

Adherence to a Mediterranean diet is associated with improved musculoskeletal health and fewer falls, according to study data presented at the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) annual meeting held earlier this month.

“Adherence to a Mediterranean diet is associated with higher appendicular lean mass adjusted for body mass index, lower levels of serum IL-7, and fewer falls in community-dwelling older men, “ wrote the authors of the study, which was presented on September 11 by Mavil May Cervo, Ph.D. candidate at Monash University in Victoria, Australia.

Dr. Cervo and colleagues have previously shown that a proinflammatory diet increases both inflammatory biomarkers, including Interleukin 7 (IL-7), and the risk of falls. A prior study by the researchers found that a higher dietary inflammatory index is linked to lower bone density, higher risk of falls, and increased incidence of fractures in older men, but decreased fracture incidence in women, over a 10 year period. Meanwhile, adherence to a Mediterranean diet may have favorable effects on various health conditions.

In this study, the researchers looked at the associations of adherence to a Mediterranean diet with circulating cytokine levels, musculoskeletal health and incident falls in 794 community-dwelling men (mean age 81.1 years), of which 616 men attended follow-up three years later.

Adherence to a Mediterranean diet was assessed using the MEDI-LITE score, with a higher score indicating greater adherence. Appendicular lean mass and bone mineral density were measured using DEXA. The researchers also analyzed 24 circulating cytokines and recorded incident falls over three years through telephone interviews every four months. Physical function was assessed via three-year changes in gait speed and hand grip strength.

A higher MEDI-LITE score was associated with higher appendicular lean mass adjusted for body mass index(0.004 kg/kg/m2; 95% CI: 0.000, 0.008), and lower serum IL-7 (-0.017 pg/mL; 95% CI: -0.031, -0.003) and incident falls rates (IRR: 0.94; 95% CI: 0.89, 0.99). MEDI-LITE scores were not associated with bone mineral density or physical function parameters.

“Monounsaturated and saturated fatty acids were the most important contributors to the association between Mediterranean diet and falls risk,” the authors wrote.

A higher consumption of monounsaturated fatty acids was associated with 24 percent lower falls risk, and a lower monounsaturated fatty acid to saturated fatty acid ratio was associated with 28 percent lower falls risk.

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REFERENCE

[1024] Mediterranean Diet Adherence and its Associations with Circulating Cytokines, Musculoskeletal Health and Incident Falls in Community-Dwelling Older Men. Mavil May Cervo. September 11. ASMBR 2020 Annual Meeting Virtual Event.