23 November 2020 In General Health

Research has shown that a greater adherence to the Mediterranean diet is associated with a reduced risk of major chronic disease. However, the existing literature leads to debate for different issues, such as the measurement of the adherence to the Mediterranean diet, the use of a wide variety of dietary indices with various food components and the large heterogeneity across the studies.

In order to summarise the evidence and evaluate the validity of the association between the adherence to the Mediterranean diet and multiple health outcomes, an umbrella review of the evidence across meta-analyses of observational studies and randomised clinical trials (RCTs) was performed. Thirteen meta-analyses of observational studies and 16 meta-analyses of RCTs investigating the association between the adherence to the Mediterranean diet and 37 different health outcomes, for a total population of over than 12 800 000 subjects, were identified.

A robust evidence, supported by a P-value<0.001, a large simple size, and not a considerable heterogeneity between studies, for a greater adherence to the Mediterranean diet and a reduced the risk of overall mortality, cardiovascular diseases, coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction, overall cancer incidence, neurodegenerative diseases and diabetes was found. For most of the site-specific cancers, as well as for inflammatory and metabolic parameters, the evidence was only suggestive or weak and further studies are needed to draw firmer conclusions.

No evidence, on the other hand, was reported for bladder, endometrial and ovarian cancers, as well as for LDL (low density lipoprotein)-cholesterol levels.

23 November 2020 In General Health

BACKGROUND: Frailty is a common geriatric syndrome in old people. It remains controversial whether Mediterranean diet could prevent old people from developing into frailty. The aim of this study is to summarize the relevant studies and assess the effectiveness of adherence to Mediterranean diet on frailty in old people.

METHOD: A systematic search of MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials was conducted to identify all relevant studies up to Oct 2017. We included studies regarding the associations between adherence to Mediterranean diet and risk of frailty among elders. A meta-analysis was performed to explore the effects of Mediterranean diet on frailty.

RESULTS: Six studies matched the inclusion criteria, of which five were prospective and one was cross-sectional. A total of 10,210 participants from the five prospective cohort studies were included to perform the meta-analyses. In comparison with lowest adherence to Mediterranean diet, elders with highest adherence to Mediterranean diet were significantly associated with lower risk of frailty in the future (RR= 0.56, 95% CI=0.36-0.89, p=0.015). Furthermore, the pooled estimates from four studies performed among participants in western countries (European and North American) showed that higher adherence to Mediterranean diet was associated with a 52% reduced risk of frailty (RR= 0.48, 95% CI=0.32-0.72, p<0.001). However, one study showed no association between Mediterranean diet and frailty among Asian elders (RR=1.06, 95% CI=0.83-1.36, p=0.638).

CONCLUSION: A higher adherence to Mediterranean diet is associated with a lower risk of frailty in old people. Meanwhile, the benefits may be more obvious among elders from western countries.

23 November 2020 In General Health

A previous meta-analysis provided convincing evidence for an inverse association between adherence to a Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) and the risk of all-cause mortality. Since then, 19 prospective studies have been published. We updated the evidence from these prospective studies and conducted a dose-response meta-analysis to test the linear and potential nonlinear dose-response associations between adherence to a MedDiet and the risk of all-cause mortality.

The PubMed, Scopus, ISI Web of Knowledge, and Embase bibliographic databases were systematically searched up to August 24, 2018. Summary HRs were estimated with the use of a random-effects meta-analysis to assess the association between a 2-point increment in MedDiet adherence and the risk of all-cause mortality. Sensitivity and subgroup analyses were performed and potential publication bias was tested. Twenty-nine prospective studies with 1,676,901 participants and 221,603 cases of all-cause mortality were included in the final analysis.

The pooled HR of all-cause mortality was 0.90 (95% CI: 0.89, 0.91; I2 = 81.1%) for a 2-point increment in adherence to a MedDiet. Subgroup analyses showed that a significant inverse association was stronger in participants who lived in the Mediterranean region compared with non-Mediterranean areas (HRs: 0.82 compared with 0.92, respectively), and in studies that used the Panagiotakos MedDiet score.

A nonlinear dose-response meta-analysis indicated that the risk of all-cause mortality linearly decreased with the increase in adherence to a MedDiet. The robustness of findings was confirmed in the sensitivity analyses. In conclusion, low-quality evidence from prospective cohort studies suggests an inverse association between adherence to a MedDiet and the risk of all-cause mortality, especially in Mediterranean regions. An inverse linear dose-response relation was also observed between adherence to a MedDiet and the risk of all-cause mortality.

23 November 2020 In Diabetes

Dietary patterns influence various cardiometabolic risk factors, including body weight, lipoprotein concentrations, and function, blood pressure, glucose-insulin homeostasis, oxidative stress, inflammation, and endothelial health. The Mediterranean diet can be described as a dietary pattern characterized by the high consumption of plant-based foods, olive oil as the main source of fat, low-to-moderate consumption of fish, dairy products and poultry, low consumption of red and processed meat, and low-to-moderate consumption of wine with meals.

The American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association recommend Mediterranean diet for improving glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes. Prospective studies show that higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet is associated with a 20-23 % reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes, while the results of randomized controlled trials show that Mediterranean diet reduces glycosylated hemoglobin levels by 0.30-0.47 %, and is also associated with a 28-30 % reduced risk for cardiovascular events.

The mechanisms by which Mediterranean diet produces its cardiometabolic benefits in type 2 diabetes are, for the most, anti-inflammatory and antioxidative: increased consumption of high-quality foods may cool down the activation of the innate immune system, by reducing the production of proinflammatory cytokines while increasing that of anti-inflammatory cytokines. This may favor the generation of an anti-inflammatory milieu, which in turn may improve insulin sensitivity in the peripheral tissues and endothelial function at the vascular level and ultimately act as a barrier to the metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and development of atherosclerosis.

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