` More Evidence Mediterranean Diet Protects from Diabetes

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More Evidence Mediterranean Diet Protects from Diabetes

Apr. 1, 2014
By Elena Paravantes

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Plenty of research has shown that a Mediter­ranean style diet can reduce the risk of dia­betes. Now a new meta-analy­sis is show­ing that this type of eat­ing pat­tern not only reduces the risk of this chronic dis­ease, but more so in indi­vid­u­als at high risk for heart dis­ease.

Greek researchers from the Haroko­pio Uni­ver­sity in Athens con­ducted a review of 19 orig­i­nal research stud­ies that fol­lowed more than 162,000 par­tic­i­pants for an aver­age of 5.5 years. The analy­sis of these stud­ies showed there was a 21 per­cent reduced risk of dia­betes in indi­vid­u­als who fol­lowed a Mediter­ranean-style diet which is char­ac­ter­ized by high intake of veg­eta­bles, fruit, olive oil, beans and mod­er­ate con­sump­tion of wine.

The inves­ti­ga­tors note that this effect was even greater in par­tic­i­pants who were at a high risk for heart dis­ease and for whom dia­betes pre­ven­tion is par­tic­u­larly impor­tant. This sub­group had 27 per­cent less like­li­hood of devel­op­ing dia­betes com­pared to those in the con­trol group which were mostly fol­low­ing a west­ern­ized diet.

A sig­nif­i­cant com­po­nent of this review is the fact that these stud­ies included Euro­pean and non-Euro­pean pop­u­la­tions. Accord­ing to Demos­thenes Pana­gio­takos, pro­fes­sor at Haroko­pio Uni­ver­sity in Athens and chief inves­ti­ga­tor, this is impor­tant as most of stud­ies have been Euro­pean-based and there has been some ques­tion of pos­si­ble con­found­ing fac­tors in these regions includ­ing genet­ics, the envi­ron­ment and lifestyle. The results of this meta-analy­sis have shown that a Mediter­ranean diet can ben­e­fit indi­vid­u­als from around the world — not only the Mediter­ranean.

Ear­lier this year the ongo­ing inter­ven­tion Pred­imed study in Spain also showed that a Mediter­ranean diet reduced the risk of dia­betes among older indi­vid­u­als by 30 per­cent, while data from the Greek par­tic­i­pants of the Euro­pean Prospec­tive Inves­ti­ga­tion into Can­cer and Nutri­tion that stud­ied over 22,000 indi­vid­u­als showed that a Mediter­ranean diet reduced the inci­dence of dia­betes by 20 per­cent.

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The research will be pre­sented at the Amer­i­can Col­lege of Car­di­ol­o­gy’s 63rd Annual Sci­en­tific Ses­sion.


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