07 February 2023 In Drinking Patterns

BACKGROUND: Most of the available epidemiological evidence on alcohol and chronic disease agrees on recommending alcohol abstention to young people, but some controversy exists about the most appropriate recommendation for alcohol abstention for people of older ages. A growing body of evidence suggests that the pattern of alcohol consumption is likely to be a strong effect modifier. The Mediterranean Alcohol Drinking Pattern (MADP) represents a score integrating several dimensions of drinking patterns (moderation, preference for red wine, drinking with meals, and avoiding binge drinking). Our aim was to clarify this issue and provide more precise recommendations on alcohol consumption.

METHODS: We prospectively followed-up 2226 participants (men older than 50 years and women older than 55 years at baseline) in the Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra (SUN) cohort. We classified participants into three categories of adherence to the MADP score (low, moderate, and high), and we added a fourth category for abstainers. Cox regression models estimated multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (HR) of all-cause death and 95% confidence intervals (CI) using low MADP adherence as the reference category. RESULTS: The strongest reduction in risk of mortality was observed for those with high adherence to the MADP, with an HR of 0.54 (95% CI: 0.37-0.80). The moderate adherence group (HR = 0.65, 95% CI: 0.44-0.96) and the abstention group (HR = 0.60, 95% CI: 0.36-0.98) also exhibited lower risks of mortality than the low MADP adherence group.

CONCLUSIONS: based on the available evidence, a public health message can be provided to people older than 50 years as follows: among those who drink alcohol, high adherence to the MADP score could substantially reduce their risk of all-cause mortality.

07 February 2023 In General Health

Although it is clearly established that the abuse of alcohol is seriously harmful to health, much epidemiological and clinical evidence seem to underline the protective role of moderate quantities of alcohol and in particular of wine on health. This narrative review aims to re-evaluate the relationship between the type and dose of alcoholic drink and reduced or increased risk of various diseases, in the light of the most current scientific evidence.

In particular, in vitro studies on the modulation of biochemical pathways and gene expression of wine bioactive components were evaluated. Twenty-four studies were selected after PubMed, Scopus and Google Scholar searches for the evaluation of moderate alcohol/wine consumption and health effects: eight studies concerned cardiovascular diseases, three concerned type 2 diabetes, four concerned neurodegenerative diseases, five concerned cancer and four were related to longevity.

A brief discussion on viticultural and enological practices potentially affecting the content of bioactive components in wine is included. The analysis clearly indicates that wine differs from other alcoholic beverages and its moderate consumption not only does not increase the risk of chronic degenerative diseases but is also associated with health benefits particularly when included in a Mediterranean diet model. Obviously, every effort must be made to promote behavioral education to prevent abuse, especially among young people.

07 February 2023 In General Health

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Obesity is a chronic disease, a major public health problem due to its association with non-communicable diseases and all-cause mortality. Indeed, people with obesity are at increased risk for a variety of obesity-related disorders including hypertension, dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, and several cancers. Many popular diets with very different macronutrient composition, including the Mediterranean diet (MD), have been used, proposed, and studied for prevention and management of obesity.

In particular, MD has been the subject of countless studies over the years and now boasts a large body of scientific literature. In this review, we aimed to update current knowledge by summarizing the most recent evidence on the effect of MD on obesity and obesity-related disorders.

RECENT FINDINGS: The negative effects of obesity are partly reversed by substantial weight loss that can be achieved with MD, especially when low-calorie and in combination with adequate physical activity. In addition, the composition of MD has been correlated with an excellent effect on reducing dyslipidemia. It also positively modulates the gut microbiota and immune system, significantly decreasing inflammatory mediators, a common ground for many obesity-related disorders. People with obesity are at increased risk for a variety of medical disorders including hypertension, dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and cardiovascular disease.

Therefore, there is an inevitable need for measures to manage obesity and its related disorders. At this point, MD has been proposed as a valuable nutritional intervention. It is characterized by a high consumption of vegetables, fruit, nuts, cereals, whole grains, and extra virgin olive oil, as well as a moderate consumption of fish and poultry, and a limited intake of sweets, red meat, and dairy products. MD proves to be the healthiest dietary pattern available to tackle obesity and prevent several non-communicable diseases, including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

29 January 2023 In General Health

Although it is clearly established that the abuse of alcohol is seriously harmful to health, much epidemiological and clinical evidence seem to underline the protective role of moderate quantities of alcohol and in particular of wine on health.

This narrative review aims to re-evaluate the relationship between the type and dose of alcoholic drink and reduced or increased risk of various diseases, in the light of the most current scientific evidence.

In particular, in vitro studies on the modulation of biochemical pathways and gene expression of wine bioactive components were evaluated. Twenty-four studies were selected after PubMed, Scopus and Google Scholar searches for the evaluation of moderate alcohol/wine consumption and health effects: eight studies concerned cardiovascular diseases, three concerned type 2 diabetes, four concerned neurodegenerative diseases, five concerned cancer and four were related to longevity.

A brief discussion on viticultural and enological practices potentially affecting the content of bioactive components in wine is included.

The analysis clearly indicates that wine differs from other alcoholic beverages and its moderate consumption not only does not increase the risk of chronic degenerative diseases but is also associated with health benefits particularly when included in a Mediterranean diet model. Obviously, every effort must be made to promote behavioral education to prevent abuse, especially among young people.

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