Mediterranean Diet Programs Tiverton RI
North Kingstown, RI
Mediterranean Diet Plus Nuts May Help Manage Metabolic Syndrome
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A traditional Mediterranean diet with an additional daily serving of mixed nuts appears to be useful for managing some metabolic abnormalities in older adults at high risk for heart disease, according to a report in the December 8/22 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals
Metabolic syndrome is a set of metabolic abnormalities that includes abdominal obesity and high cholesterol, high blood pressure and high blood glucose levels, all of which are risk factors for cardiovascular disease, according to background information in the article. “Development of the metabolic syndrome depends on a complex interaction between still largely unknown genetic determinants and environmental factors, including dietary patterns,” the authors write. A traditional Mediterranean diet—characterized by a high intake of cereals, vegetables, fruits and olive oil, a moderate intake of fish and alcohol and a low intake of dairy, meats and sweets—has been associated with a lower risk for metabolic abnormalities.
Jordi Salas-Salvadó, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Rovira i Virgili, Spain, and colleagues assessed 1,224 participants in the PREDIMED (Prevencion con Dieta Mediterranea) study who were age 55 to 80 and at high risk for cardiovascular disease. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups: one group received advice on a low-fat diet while two received quarterly education about the Mediterranean diet. One of the Mediterranean diet groups was provided with 1 liter per week of virgin olive oil and the other received 30 grams per day of mixed nuts.
At the beginning of the study, 61.4 percent of the participants met criteria for the metabolic syndrome. After one year, 409 participants in the Mediterranean diet plus olive oil group, 411 in the Mediterranean diet plus nuts group and 404 in the control group of low-fat diet advice were available for evaluation. The prevalence of metabolic syndrome decreased by 13.7 percent among those in the nut group, 6.7 percent in the olive oil group and 2 percent in the control group.
Participants’ weight did not change over the one-year period. However, the number of individuals with large waist circumference, high triglycerides or high blood pressure significantly decreased in the Mediterranean diet plus nuts group compared with the control group. This suggests that components of the diet, principally the nuts, may have beneficial effects on pathophysiological characteristics of metabolic syndrome, such as oxygen-related cell damage, resistance to the effects of insulin or chronic inflammation. The Mediterranean diet is high in unsaturated fatty acids; in addition, nuts also contain beneficial nutrients such as fiber, arginine, potassium, calcium and magnesium.
“Traditionally, dietary patterns recommended for health have been low-fat, high-carbohydrate die...
Mediterranean Diet Extends Life
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Drinking red wine and cooking with olive oil may help us to live longer, say scientists.
They have found that key ingredients in both substances can significantly increase the lifespan of yeast.Since yeast and humans share many genes, scientists have speculated they may have the same effect in people.
The findings provide more evidence to suggest that the Mediterranean diet may be the secret to living a long and healthy life.
The scientists, from Harvard Medical School and Biomol research laboratory in Philadelphia, have identified resveratrol as the key ingredient in red wine.
This molecule is abundant in red wine. It gives red wine its anti-cancer and anti-heart disease properties.
They have found that this molecule can influence genes that have been linked to lifespan in yeast.
The found that quercetin, which is abundant in olive oil, has a similar effect.
In particular, they affect those genes that have been shown to extend life as a result of a calorie-restricted diet by enabling cells to live longer.
In the case of resveratrol it was found to extend the life of some yeast cells by as much as 70%.
Previous studies have suggested that severe calorie restriction can increase the lifespan of organisms like yeast, fruit flies, worms and rats.
Scientists are trying to develop drugs that could have a similar impact on humans. The discovery that resveratrol and quercetin can increase the lifespan in yeast could boost those efforts.
"It is early days but we consider this to be a really striking breakthrough," Dr Konrad Howitz, one of the authors of the study, told BBC News Online.
"It certainly brings us closer to being able to intervene pharmacologically in humans to extend longevity."
The scientists found that resveratrol could increase the lifespan of yeast cells in a variety of doses.
However, similar tests on human cells showed that dosage is important.
"A very broad range of doses were very effective in yeast. However, it was different with human cells.
"There appeared to be a very narrow range at the low end. If doses were too high they appeared to have the opposite effect," said Dr Howitz.
The scientists are planning similar tests on other species, including mice, to see if the molecules can extend thei...