Mediterranean diet

A Mediterranean diet in pregnancy is associated with lower risk of accelerated growth

December 3, 2018

Science Daily/Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal)

Over 2,700 women and their children participated in this study that highlights the benefits of a healthy diet.

 

The Mediterranean diet is characterised by a high content of fruits, vegetables, olive oil, legumes and nuts. This healthy diet pattern has been associated with lower obesity and cardiometabolic risk in adults, but few studies have focused on children.

 

This study, published in the Journal of Pediatrics, aimed at evaluating the association between adherence to a Mediterranean diet during pregnancy and growth patterns and cardiometabolic risk in early infancy.

 

The study was performed with data of over 2,700 pregnant women from Asturias, Guipúzcoa, Sabadell and Valencia, who are part of the INMA-Childhood and Environment cohort. The women filled in a questionnaire on dietary intake in the first and third trimester of pregnancy. In addition, the diet, weight and height of their offspring were followed-up from birth to age 4 years. Other tests such as blood analysis and blood pressure were also performed at age 4.

 

The results show that pregnant women with higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet had a 32% lower risk of having children with an accelerated growth pattern, as compared to offspring of women that did not follow such diet.

 

Sílvia Fernández, ISGlobal researcher and first author of the study, underlines that "mothers with lower adherence to the Mediterranean diet were younger, consumed more calories, and had higher probability of smoking and a lower education and social level," as compared to those women who did follow the diet."

 

"These results support the hypothesis that a healthy diet during pregnancy can have a beneficial effect for child development," concludes the study coordinator Dora Romaguera, researcher at ISGlobal and CIBEROBN. Regarding the mechanisms that underlie this association, the researcher mentions "possible epigenetic modifications that regulate fetal caridiometabolism, or shared eating patterns between mothers and children, although this deserves further investigation."

 

The study did not find a correlation between Mediterranean diet in pregnancy and a reduction in cardiometabolic risk (blood pressure or cholesterol) in early infancy. "The effects on cardiometabolic risk could appear later in childhood," explains Fernández.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/12/181203101419.htm

A hypocaloric Mediterranean diet and daily exercise maintain weight loss

November 5, 2018

Science Daily/Universitat Rovira i Virgili

Following a Mediterranean diet low in calories and engaging daily physical activity have been demonstrated to result in reduce body weight and cardiovascular risk in overweight patients and patients with metabolic syndrome, and to maintain these benefits after one year.

 

Overweight or obese patients, particularly those with metabolic syndrome, are often told to lose weight by changing their lifestyle. The aim of these recommendations is to reduce their cardiovascular risk; however, there is no scientific evidence that this beneficial effect can be maintained in the long-term. Although low fat and low carbohydrate diets have proven effective in losing weight and improving cardiovascular risk, the benefits tend to diminish after a year. Following a Mediterranean diet low in calories and engaging daily physical activity have been demonstrated to result in reduce body weight and cardiovascular risk in overweight patients and patients with metabolic syndrome, and to maintain these benefits after one year.

 

With this investigation, the researchers from the Human Nutrition Unit at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili, in collaboration with 23 other research groups in the PREDIMED-Plus study, have evaluated the changes in body weight, fat accumulation and different cardiovascular risk factors after one year in 626 patients. The results have shown that the lifestyle changes included in the study are effective in maintain clinically significant weight loss. Indeed, after 12 months of intervention, 33.7% of the patients following the hypocaloric Mediterranean diet and daily exercise showed a minimum of 5% weight loss. These patients also showed improvements in those parameters related with glucose metabolism and certain inflammatory markers, in contrast with those patients who did not follow the diet. Furthermore, for those patients with diabetes or at risk of diabetes, the benefits from these lifestyle changes were particularly high in terms of glucose control.

 

The researchers highlight that, in this study, the greatest weight loss has been found after 12 months, which illustrates that weight loss was maintained over time. In the light of these results, the researchers expect that this weight-loss maintenance in response to the PREDIMED-Plus lifestyle programme can provide the same or more benefits for cardiovascular disease (myocardial infarction, stroke or mortality from these causes) in the long term. In fact, this is the main objective of the PREDIMED-PLUS trial.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/11/181105105353.htm

Mediterranean diet and exercise can reduce sleep apnea symptoms

November 28, 2011

Science Daily/European Lung Foundation

Eating a Mediterranean diet combined with physical activity can help to improve some of the symptoms of sleep apnea, according to new research. The study, which is published online in the European Respiratory Journal, looked at the impact a Mediterranean diet can have on obese people with sleep apnea, compared to those on a prudent diet.

 

Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) causes frequent pauses of breathing to occur during sleep, which disrupts a person's normal sleeping pattern. It is one of the most prevalent sleep-related breathing disorders with approximately 2-4% of the adult population experiencing the condition. This percentage increases up to 20-40% with obesity, and weight loss is often an essential part of the recommended treatment plan.

 

The researchers, from the University of Crete in Greece, examined 40 obese patients suffering from OSAS. Twenty patients were given a prudent diet to follow, while the other 20 followed a Mediterranean diet. Both groups were also encouraged to increase their physical activity, mainly involving walking for at least 30 minutes each day.

 

In both groups, the patients also received continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy which involves wearing a mask that generates an air stream, keeping the upper airway open during sleep.

 

The researchers monitored the patients during a sleep study, known as polysomnography. This involved monitoring several markers for OSAS, including electrical activity in the brain, eye movements and snoring. The patients were examined at the start of the study and again 6 months later.

 

The results showed that people following the Mediterranean diet had a reduced number of disturbances, known as apneas, during the rapid eye movement (REM) stage of sleep, which usually accounts for approximately 25% of total sleep during the night.

 

The findings also revealed that people following the Mediterranean diet also showed a greater adherence to the calorie restricted diet, an increase in physical activity and a greater decrease in abdominal fat.

 

The results of this small sample did show an improvement during one stage of sleep for people with sleep apnea, however it did not show an overall improvement in severity of the condition. The authors suggest that further studies in a larger sample are required to fully understand the benefits of this diet.

 

Christopher Papandreou, lead author for the research, said: "This is the first study examining the impact of the Mediterranean diet in combination with physical activity on OSAS via changes in the human body. Our results showed that the number of disturbances during REM sleep was reduced more in the Mediterranean diet group than the other group. Recent reports have related an increase in disturbances during REM sleep with the risk of developing significant systemic consequences like diabetes type II. However, its clinical significance remains unclear. Finally, more studies are needed to examine the effect of the above diet on this sleep-related breathing disorder taking into account its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties."

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111102093043.htm

Mediterranean-style diets linked to better brain function in older adults

July 25, 2017

Science Daily/American Geriatrics Society

Eating foods included in two healthy diets -- the Mediterranean or the MIND diet -- is linked to a lower risk for memory difficulties in older adults, according to a new study.

 

The Mediterranean diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, potatoes, nuts, olive oil and fish. Processed foods, fried and fast foods, snack foods, red meat, poultry and whole-fat dairy foods are infrequently eaten on the Mediterranean diet.

 

The MIND diet is a version of the Mediterranean diet that includes 15 types of foods. Ten are considered "brain-healthy:" green leafy vegetables, other vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, seafood, poultry, olive oil, and wine. Five are considered unhealthy: red meat, butter and stick margarine, cheese, pastries, sweets and fried/fast foods.

 

Researchers examined information from 5,907 older adults who participated in the Health and Retirement Study. The participants filled out questionnaires about their eating habits. Researchers then measured the participants' cognitive abilities -- mostly on their memory and attention skills.

 

The researchers compared the diets of participants to their performance on the cognitive tests. They found that older people who ate Mediterranean and MIND-style diets scored significantly better on the cognitive function tests than those who ate less healthy diets. In fact, older people who ate a Mediterranean-style diet had 35% lower risk of scoring poorly on cognitive tests. Even those who ate a moderate Mediterranean-style diet had 15% lower risk of doing poorly on cognitive tests. The researchers noted similar results for people who ate MIND-style diets.

 

This study suggests that eating Mediterranean and MIND-style diets is linked to better overall cognitive function in older adults, said the researchers. What's more, older adults who followed these healthy diets had lower risks for having cognitive impairment in later life, noted the researchers.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170725154208.htm

Want a better memory? Try eating a Mediterranean diet

Eating a Mediterranean diet can slow down cognitive decline

August 9, 2016
Science Daily/Frontiers
The Mediterranean diet can improve your mind, as well your heart, shows a new study

The Mediterranean diet can improve your mind, as well your heart, shows a study published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Nutrition.

By sticking to the Mediterranean diet the study showed that people had slowed rates of cognitive decline, reduced conversion to Alzheimer's, and improved cognitive function.

The main foods in the Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) include plant foods, such as leafy greens, fresh fruit and vegetables, cereals, beans, seeds, nuts, and legumes. The MedDiet is also low in dairy, has minimal red meat, and uses olive oil as its major source of fat.

Leading author Roy Hardman from the Centre for Human Psychopharmacology Swinburne University of Technology Melbourne Australia and his colleagues evaluated all the available papers between 2000-2015 that investigated if and how a MedDiet may impact cognitive processes over time. In total, 18 out of the 135 articles met their strict inclusion criteria.

"The most surprising result was that the positive effects were found in countries around the whole world. So regardless of being located outside of what is considered the Mediterranean region, the positive cognitive effects of a higher adherence to a MedDiet were similar in all evaluated papers;" he said.

Attention, memory, and language improved. Memory, in particular, was positively affected by the MedDiet including improvements in: delayed recognition, long-term, and working memory, executive function, and visual constructs.

"Why is a higher adherence to the MedDiet related to slowing down the rate of cognitive decline? The MedDiet offers the opportunity to change some of the modifiable risk factors," he explained.

"These include reducing inflammatory responses, increasing micronutrients, improving vitamin and mineral imbalances, changing lipid profiles by using olive oils as the main source of dietary fats, maintaining weight and potentially reducing obesity, improving polyphenols in the blood, improving cellular energy metabolism and maybe changing the gut micro-biota, although this has not been examined to a larger extent yet."

Moreover, the benefits to cognition afforded by the MedDiet were not exclusive to older individuals. Two of the included studies focused on younger adults and they both found improvements in cognition using computerized assessments.

The researchers stress that research in this area is important due to the expected extensive population aging over the next 20-30 years. They envision that the utilization of a dietary pattern, such as the MedDiet, will be an essential tool to maintain quality of life and reduce the potential social and economic burdens of manifested cognitive declines like dementia.

"I would therefore recommend people to try to adhere or switch to a MedDiet, even at an older age," Hardman added.

Like many researchers, Hardman takes his research home: "I follow the diet patterns and do not eat any red meats, chicken or pork. I have fish two-three times per week and adhere to a Mediterranean style of eating."
Science Daily/SOURCE :https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/08/160809145258.htm

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