Health

Mediterranean Diet May Interact with Genes and Prevent Stroke

Aug. 19, 2013
By Elena Paravantes

Recent News

mediterranean-diet-may-interact-with-genes-and-prevent-stroke-olive-oil-times-health-news-stroke

A Mediterranean diet pat­tern may reduce stroke inci­dence as well as glu­cose and cho­les­terol levels in indi­vid­u­als car­ry­ing a gene that is asso­ci­ated with devel­op­ment of dia­betes, accord­ing to a new study pub­lished in Diabetes Care.

Researchers from the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University and the Biomedical Research Networking Centers in Spain set out to inves­ti­gate whether the Mediterranean diet could inter­act with a gene known as Transcription Factor 7‑Like 2 (TCF7L2), which has been asso­ci­ated with increased dia­betes risk and pos­si­bly car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease.

The sci­en­tists gath­ered infor­ma­tion from over 7,000 men and women who were par­tic­i­pants in the PREDIMED study, a large ran­dom­ized clin­i­cal trial of dietary inter­ven­tion in per­sons at high risk of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease, to eval­u­ate whether the Mediterranean diet pre­vents car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­eases com­pared to a low-fat diet.

After ana­lyz­ing data on the diet and car­dio­vas­cu­lar events, the researchers found that indi­vid­u­als who car­ried two copies of the gene and adhered to the Mediterranean diet had a reduc­tion of stroke inci­dence, lower blood glu­cose levels and lower cho­les­terol levels. The par­tic­i­pants with a low adher­ence to the diet were almost three times as likely to have a stroke com­pared to people with one or no copies of the gene vari­ant accord­ing to the researchers.

Advertisement

mediterranean-diet-may-interact-with-genes-and-prevent-stroke-olive-oil-times-health-news-jose-m-ordovas
José M. Ordovás

“Our study is the first to iden­tify a gene-diet inter­ac­tion affect­ing stroke in a nutri­tion inter­ven­tion trial car­ried out over a number of years in thou­sands of men and women,” said senior author José M. Ordovás, direc­tor of the Nutrition and Genomics Laboratory at the USDA HNRCA at Tufts University and a pio­neer in the field of nutrige­nomics. “The food they ate appeared to elim­i­nate any increased stroke sus­cep­ti­bil­ity, putting them on an even play­ing field with people with one or no copies of the vari­ant.” Ordovas said.

The authors noted that these find­ings could lead the way in begin­ning to develop genetic tests to iden­tify people who may reduce their risk for chronic dis­ease, by making mean­ing­ful changes to the way they eat.

Advertisement