`Mediterranean Diet Benefits Patients With Lupus, Study Suggests - Olive Oil Times

Mediterranean Diet Benefits Patients With Lupus, Study Suggests

May. 14, 2021
Clarissa Joshua

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Systemic lupus ery­the­mato­sus patients who fol­lowed the Mediterranean diet expe­ri­enced an improve­ment in the clin­i­cal course of the dis­ease, accord­ing to a study from the University of Granada.

Scientists at the uni­ver­sity and the Biosanitary Research Institute of Granada stud­ied 280 patients with lupus, start­ing in 2017. They assessed par­tic­i­pants’ adher­ence to the Mediterranean diet and their gen­eral lifestyle.

Together with med­ical treat­ment, nutri­tional coun­sel­ing could be very use­ful to improve the course of lupus and its comor­bidi­ties.- Norberto Ortego Centeno, researcher, University of Granada

Lupus cur­rently has no cure, so improv­ing its symp­toms and comor­bidi­ties is vital. It is esti­mated that at least five mil­lion peo­ple world­wide have a form of lupus.

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The exact cause of lupus is still unknown, but it is known that it results from the inter­ac­tion between var­i­ous fac­tors such as a genetic pre­dis­po­si­tion; cer­tain envi­ron­men­tal fac­tors (expo­sure to UV rays, tox­ins, lifestyle) or hor­monal changes, among oth­ers,” said Gabriela Pocovi Gerardino, a nutri­tion­ist, dietit­ian and doc­tor at the University of Granada.

The researcher also found that patients who fol­lowed the Mediterranean diet had lower rates of obe­sity and car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease, from which patients with lupus are at higher risk of suf­fer­ing.

Lupus symp­toms vary across patients, but the dis­ease causes inflam­ma­tion that can affect many organ sys­tems, includ­ing the heart, lungs and brain.

The study found that eat­ing anti-inflam­ma­tory foods heav­ily asso­ci­ated with the Mediterranean diet, such as olive oil, fruits, veg­eta­bles and fish, ben­e­fited lupus patients by reduc­ing organ dam­age.

In turn, avoid­ing foods high in sugar and processed meat, which are not part of the Mediterranean diet, was also asso­ci­ated with health ben­e­fits.

These results are of great rel­e­vance and impact, and lead us to advise that, together with med­ical treat­ment, nutri­tional coun­sel­ing could be very use­ful to improve the course of lupus and its comor­bidi­ties,” said Norberto Ortego Centeno, a researcher who led the study at the University of Granada.

However, the researchers also stressed that fur­ther stud­ies were needed to con­firm these find­ings.





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