Being that heart dis­ease is the lead­ing cause of death world­wide, the fact that dietary habits can make such a huge impact is remark­able, though in some ways not sur­pris­ing.

The Mediterranean diet, char­ac­ter­ized by high con­sump­tion of veg­eta­bles, fruit, olive oil, nuts, seeds, fish and poul­try, is well known for its many pro­tec­tive ben­e­fits from var­i­ous dis­eases such as can­cer, dia­betes, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s and car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease.

The major con­trib­u­tors to mor­tal­ity risk reduc­tion were a higher con­sump­tion of veg­eta­bles, fish, fruits, nuts and monoun­sat­u­rated fatty acids — that means olive oil.- Marialaura Bonaccio, Researcher

A new study, how­ever, looked at par­tic­i­pants who already suf­fer car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease (heart attacks, strokes, blocked arter­ies), which is dif­fer­ent than many stud­ies that eval­u­ate gen­eral pop­u­la­tions.
See more: Olive Oil Health Benefits
The study, titled ‘Higher adher­ence to Mediterranean diet is asso­ci­ated with lower risk of over­all mor­tal­ity in sub­jects with car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease: prospec­tive results from the MOLI-SANI study,’ is not yet avail­able for full review.

Giovanni de Gaetano, head of the Department of Epidemiology and Prevention at the IRCCS Neuromed Institute in Pozzilli, Italy, pre­sented the abstract of the paper at the ESC Congress in Rome on August 28, accord­ing to a press release from the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

In brief, the study was an obser­va­tional study look­ing at approx­i­mately 1,200 par­tic­i­pants out of 25,000 in the EPIC study. Food intake was eval­u­ated via a food fre­quency ques­tion­naire and the Mediterranean diet score (MDS) was used to eval­u­ate the rela­tion­ship between MedDiet con­sump­tion and total mor­tal­ity.

Only 208 deaths occurred dur­ing the 7.3‑year fol­low-up and the authors con­clude that “a 2‑point increase in the MDS was asso­ci­ated with a 21 per­cent reduced risk of death.” This was even greater, 37 per­cent, when par­tic­i­pants had top-cat­e­gory adher­ence to the MedDiet.

“The major con­trib­u­tors to mor­tal­ity risk reduc­tion were a higher con­sump­tion of veg­eta­bles, fish, fruits, nuts and monoun­sat­u­rated fatty acids — that means olive oil,” said Marialaura Bonaccio, the lead author of the research.

Professor de Gaetano also sug­gests that the mech­a­nisms are likely related to other fac­tors that have been seen as pro­tec­tive in other dis­eases: for exam­ple, the influ­ence of a MedDiet with olive oil on inflam­ma­tory and oxida­tive stress fac­tors that ini­ti­ate and pro­mote dis­ease states.

In recent years, statins have been crit­i­cized by researchers as being inef­fec­tive and many of the stud­ies on statins have not been inde­pen­dent, but funded by phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies. And, like most med­ica­tions, statins come with adverse side effects.

Although more research will now be needed, Jeremy Pearson, asso­ciate med­ical direc­tor of the British Heart Foundation, said for The Telegraph that: “This study sug­gests that even if you are already receiv­ing med­ical care, if you add a Mediterranean diet, it will have fur­ther ben­e­fit.

“Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, even if you have had a heart attack or stroke is really impor­tant and con­tin­ues to ben­e­fit you.”



Comments

More articles on: , ,