Mediterranean Diet May Help Women Live Longer, Healthier Lives
Middle-aged women who follow a heart-healthy Mediterranean diet may live a healthier, longer life, a new study published Nov. 5, 2013 in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine suggests.
Women with healthier dietary patterns at midlife were 40 percent more likely to survive to age 70 or over. The women who ate healthier not only lived longer, but they also thrived. They were less likely to have any major chronic diseases and more likely to have no impairment in physical functioning, mental health or thinking skills.Although the study did not look at men, previous studies on diet and healthy aging have found no gender differences, so it seems reasonable to believe that the benefit would be similar.
Mediterranean Diet Boosts Aging Brain
A Mediterranean diet with added extra virgin olive oil or mixed nuts seems to improve the brain power of older people indicates research published online in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.
Mediterranean Diet’s Health Effects for Older Adults
According to a study, “Mediterranean Diet and Risk of Hyperuricemia in Elderly Participants at High Cardiovascular Risk,” published in the Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, a baseline adherence to a Mediterranean diet (MeDiet) is associated with a lower risk of hyperuricemia, defined as a serum uric acid (SUA) concentration higher than 7mg/dl in men and higher than 6mg/dl in women.
Hyperuricemia has been associated with metabolic syndrome, hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease, gout, and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. The MeDiet is characterized by a high consumption of fruits, vegetables, legumes, olive oil, nuts, and whole grain; a moderate consumption of wine, dairy products, and poultry, and a low consumption of red meat, sweet beverages, creams, and pastries.
Mediterranean Diet Helps Cut Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke
Results of the PREDIMED study, aimed at assessing the efficacy of the Mediterranean diet in the primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases, have been published in The New England Journal of Medicine. They show that the Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or tree nuts reduces by 30 percent the risk of suffering a cardiovascular death, a myocardial infarction or a stroke.
Virgin olive oil and a Mediterranean diet fight heart disease
Everyone knows olive oil and a Mediterranean diet are associated with a lower risk for cardiovascular disease, but a new research report published in the July 2010 print issue of the FASEB Journal offers a surprising reason why: These foods change how genes associated with atherosclerosis function.
Notes re above: confirmed here and here. Fascinating read here on Olive Oil's Health Benefits and Extra virgin olive oil protects against Alzheimer's disease
Mediterranean Diet = Slower Cognitive Decline
In an examination of the association between adherence to a Mediterranean-type diet and cognitive performance and risk of dementia, researchers found that high adherence to the diet was associated with slower decline in some measures of cognitive function but was not associated with decreased risk for dementia, according to a study in the August 12, 2009 issue of JAMA.(confirmed here: Mediterranean Diet Associated With Slower Rate of Cognitive Decline)
Higher adherence to a Mediterranean-type diet is linked to lower risk for mortality and chronic diseases, and "might also have protective effects against cognitive decline in older individuals, because it combines several foods and nutrients potentially protective against cognitive dysfunction or dementia, such as fish, monounsaturated fatty acids, vitamins B12 and folate, antioxidants (vitamin E, carotenoids, flavonoids), and moderate amounts of alcohol," the authors write.
Longer life = specific foods in Mediterranean diet
Some food groups in the Mediterranean diet are more important than others in promoting health and longer life according to new research published on bmj.com.Mediterranean Diet Associated with Lower Risk of Cognitive Impairment
Eating more vegetables, fruits, nuts, pulses and olive oil, and drinking moderate amounts of alcohol, while not consuming a lot of meat or excessive amounts of alcohol is linked to people living longer.
However, the study also claims, that following a Mediterranean diet high in fish, seafood and cereals and low in dairy products were not indicators of longevity.
While several studies have concluded that the Mediterranean diet improves chances of living longer, most recently the study described here, this is the first to investigate the importance of individual components of the diet.
Eating a Mediterranean diet appears to be associated with less risk of mild cognitive impairment—a stage between normal aging and dementia—or of transitioning from mild cognitive impairment into Alzheimer’s disease, according to a report in the February 2009 issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
Mediterranean Diet: Stronger adherence was associated with reduced all cause, cardiovascular and cancer mortality, as well as decreased incidence of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases
A recent meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies using an a priori score to assess adherence to a Mediterranean diet found that stronger adherence was associated with reduced all cause, cardiovascular and cancer mortality, as well as decreased incidence of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases (1).
Two intervention studies have supported the benefits of a Mediterranean style diet on metabolic risk factors (2) (3). In a Spanish study, men and women with elevated levels of cardiovascular risk factors were randomized to either of two “Mediterranean” diets and provided with either olive oil or nuts, or to a control low fat diet. After 3 months the Mediterranean diet groups had lower mean plasma glucose, systolic blood pressure and total/HDL cholesterol ratio than the control group (2). Italian adults with the Metabolic Syndrome were randomized to a “Mediterranean” diet or a “prudent” diet, both with similar macronutrient composition. The “Mediterranean” diet was associated with greater improvements in markers of vascular risk and endothelial function than the control group (3). It should be noted however that in both studies the “Mediterranean” diet groups received more nutrition education than the control groups.
The Lyon Heart Study demonstrated that a modified Cretan diet low in butter and meats, and high in fish, fruits and enriched with _-linolenic acid from canola oil was more effective than a ‘prudent’ diet in the secondary prevention of coronary events and overall mortality (4). We have also shown that a Cretan style diet reduced HbA1c from a mean of 7.1% (95% CI: 6.5-7.7) to 6.8% (95% CI: 6.3-7.3) (p=0.012), in people with type 2 diabetes (unpublished data).
Simopoulos (5) notes that the traditional Greek diet resembles the Paleolithic diet in terms of fibre, antioxidants, saturated and monounsaturated fat, thus is consistent with human evolution. While traditional diets must reflect the regionally available foods, the characteristics of the traditional Greek diet can be applied in many countries, notwithstanding the likely effect of environment and growing methods on the nutrient composition of plant and animal foods. The evidence suggests that a traditional Greek or Cretan style diet is consistent with what humans have evolved to consume and may protect against common chronic diseases, including prostate cancer.
1. Sofi F, Cesari F, Abbate R, Gensini GF, Casini A. Adherence to Mediterranean diet and health status: meta-analysis. Bmj 2008;337:a1344._2. Estruch R, Martinez-Gonzalez MA, Corella D, et al. Effects of a Mediterranean-style diet on cardiovascular risk factors: a randomized trial. Ann Intern Med 2006;145:1-11._3. Esposito K, Marfella R, Ciotola M, et al. Effect of a Mediterranean-style diet on endothelial dysfunction and markers of vascular inflammation in the metabolic syndrome: a randomized trial. J Am Med Assoc 2004;292:1440-6._4. de Lorgeril M, Salen P. Modified Cretan Mediterranean diet in the prevention of coronary heart disease and cancer. In: Simopoulos AP, Visioli F, eds. Mediterranean Diets. World Review Nutr Diet. Basel: Karger, 2000:1-23._5. Simopoulos AP. The traditional diet of Greece and cancer. Eur J Cancer Prev 2004;13:219-30.
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