`Mediterranean Diet May Interact with Genes and Prevent Stroke - Olive Oil Times

Mediterranean Diet May Interact with Genes and Prevent Stroke

By Elena Paravantes
Aug. 19, 2013 10:08 UTC


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.

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.


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