27 October 2016 In Diabetes

OBJECTIVE: To generate evidence-based conclusions about the effect of wine consumption on weight gain and abdominal fat accumulation and distribution in patients with type 2 diabetes.

DESIGN: In the 2-year randomized controlled CASCADE (CArdiovaSCulAr Diabetes & Ethanol) trial, patients following a Mediterranean diet were randomly assigned to drink 150 ml of mineral water, white wine or red wine with dinner for 2 years. Visceral adiposity and abdominal fat distribution were measured in a subgroup of sixty-five participants, using abdominal MRI.

SETTING: Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Soroka-Medical Center and the Nuclear Research Center Negev, Israel.

SUBJECTS: Alcohol-abstaining adults with well-controlled type 2 diabetes.

RESULTS: Forty-eight participants (red wine, n 27; mineral water, n 21) who completed a second MRI measurement were included in the 2-year analysis. Similar weight losses (sd) were observed: red wine 1.3 (3.9) kg; water 1.0 (4.2) kg (P=0.8 between groups). Changes (95 % CI) in abdominal adipose-tissue distribution were similar: red wine, visceral adipose tissue (VAT) -3.0 (-8.0, 2.0) %, deep subcutaneous adipose tissue (DSAT) +5.2 (-1.1, 11.6) %, superficial subcutaneous adipose tissue (SSAT) -1.9 (-5.0, 1.2) %; water, VAT -3.2 (-8.9, 2.5) %, DSAT +2.9 (-2.8, 8.6) %, SSAT -0.15 (-3.3, 2.9) %. No changes in antidiabetic medication and no substantial changes in energy intake (+126 (sd 2889) kJ/d (+30.2 (sd 690) kcal/d), P=0.8) were recorded. A 2-year decrease in glycated Hb (beta=0.28, P=0.05) was associated with a decrease in VAT.

CONCLUSIONS: Moderate wine consumption, as part of a Mediterranean diet, in persons with controlled diabetes did not promote weight gain or abdominal adiposity.

28 June 2016 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

The relation between alcohol consumption and mortality is a J-shaped curve in most of the many studies published on this topic. The Copenhagen Prospective Population Studies demonstrated in the year 2000 that wine intake may have a beneficial effect on all cause mortality that is additive to that of alcohol. Wine contains various poliphenolic substances which may be beneficial for health and in particular flavonols (such as myricetin and quercetin), catechin and epicatechin, proanthocyanidins, anthocyanins, various phenolic acids and the stilbene resveratrol. In particular, resveratrol seems to play a positive effect on longevity because it increases the expression level of Sirt1, besides its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic properties. Moderate wine drinking is part of the Mediterranean diet, together with abundant and variable plant foods, high consumption of cereals, olive oil as the main (added) fat and a low intake of (red) meat. This healthy diet pattern involves a "Mediterranean way of drinking," that is a regular, moderate wine consumption mainly with food (up to two glasses a day for men and one glass for women). Moderate wine drinking increases longevity, reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases and does not appreciably influence the overall risk of cancer.

17 May 2016 In General Health

OBJECTIVE: To update previous meta-analyses of cohort studies that investigated the association between the Mediterranean diet and health status and to utilize data coming from all of the cohort studies for proposing a literature-based adherence score to the Mediterranean diet.

DESIGN: We conducted a comprehensive literature search through all electronic databases up to June 2013.

SETTING: Cohort prospective studies investigating adherence to the Mediterranean diet and health outcomes. Cut-off values of food groups used to compute the adherence score were obtained.

SUBJECTS: The updated search was performed in an overall population of 4 172 412 subjects, with eighteen recent studies that were not present in the previous meta-analyses.

RESULTS: A 2-point increase in adherence score to the Mediterranean diet was reported to determine an 8 % reduction of overall mortality (relative risk = 0.92; 95 % CI 0.91, 0.93), a 10 % reduced risk of CVD (relative risk = 0.90; 95 % CI 0.87, 0.92) and a 4 % reduction of neoplastic disease (relative risk = 0.96; 95 % CI 0.95, 0.97). We utilized data coming from all cohort studies available in the literature for proposing a literature-based adherence score. Such a score ranges from 0 (minimal adherence) to 18 (maximal adherence) points and includes three different categories of consumption for each food group composing the Mediterranean diet.

CONCLUSIONS: The Mediterranean diet was found to be a healthy dietary pattern in terms of morbidity and mortality. By using data from the cohort studies we proposed a literature-based adherence score that can represent an easy tool for the estimation of adherence to the Mediterranean diet also at the individual level.

17 May 2016 In Cancer

OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that postmenopausal women who increase their alcohol intake over a five year period have a higher risk of breast cancer and a lower risk of coronary heart disease compared with stable alcohol intake.

DESIGN: Prospective cohort study.

SETTING: Denmark, 1993-2012.

PARTICIPANTS: 21?523 postmenopausal women who participated in the Diet, Cancer, and Health Study in two consecutive examinations in 1993-98 and 1999-2003. Information on alcohol intake was obtained from questionnaires completed by participants.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Incidence of breast cancer, coronary heart disease, and all cause mortality during 11 years of follow-up. Information was obtained from the Danish Cancer Register, Danish Hospital Discharge Register, Danish Register of Causes of Death, and National Central Person Register. We estimated hazard ratios according to five year change in alcohol intake using Cox proportional hazards models.

RESULTS: During the study, 1054, 1750, and 2080 cases of breast cancer, coronary heart disease, and mortality occurred, respectively. Analyses modelling five year change in alcohol intake with cubic splines showed that women who increased their alcohol intake over the five year period had a higher risk of breast cancer and a lower risk of coronary heart disease than women with a stable alcohol intake. For instance, women who increased their alcohol intake by seven or 14 drinks per week (corresponding to one or two drinks more per day) had hazard ratios of breast cancer of 1.13 (95% confidence interval 1.03 to 1.23) and 1.29 (1.07 to 1.55), respectively, compared to women with stable intake, and adjusted for age, education, body mass index, smoking, Mediterranean diet score, parity, number of births, and hormone replacement therapy. For coronary heart disease, corresponding hazard ratios were 0.89 (0.81 to 0.97) and 0.78 (0.64 to 0.95), respectively, adjusted for age, education, body mass index, Mediterranean diet score, smoking, physical activity, hypertension, elevated cholesterol, and diabetes. Results among women who reduced their alcohol intake over the five year period were not significantly associated with risk of breast cancer or coronary heart disease. Analyses of all cause mortality showed that women who increased their alcohol intake from a high intake (=14 drinks per week) to an even higher intake had a higher mortality risk that women with a stable high intake.

CONCLUSION: In this study of postmenopausal women over a five year period, results support the hypotheses that alcohol intake is associated with increased risk of breast cancer and decreased risk of coronary heart disease.

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