Ten million Americans aged 50 and older have osteoporosis—a condition that causes bones to become so weak and brittle that even mild stresses can lead to a fracture. Another 43 million have low bone mass, putting them at much greater risk of osteoporosis.
In this particular study, researchers used female rats whose ovaries were removed to stimulate menopause and osteoporosis. After three doses of black olive extract, researchers noticed a significant increase in the number of osteoblasts (bone-building cells) in the lumbar vertebra. Higher doses of the extract resulted in the same effect in the tibia bone. Furthermore, a decrease in osteoclasts (cells that break down old bone) was observed in both areas in the treated rats compared to untreated rats.
The researchers wrote that black olive extract “can ameliorate the quantitative changes of the bone structure and prevented bone loss in this osteoporosis animal model. Thus, it can be a promising candidate for the treatment of accelerated bone loss especially in postmenopausal osteoporosis.”
Noorafshan A, et al. Osteoporos Int. 2015 Jul 15. [Epub ahead of print.]