23 November 2020 In Cancer

PURPOSE: The aim of current systematic review was to update the body of evidence on associations between adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) and risk of cancer mortality, site-specific cancer in the general population; all-cause, and cancer mortality as well as cancer reoccurrence among cancer survivors.

METHODS: A literature search for randomized controlled trials (RCTs), case-control and cohort studies published up to April 2020 was performed using PubMed and Scopus. Study-specific risk estimates for the highest versus lowest adherence to the MedDiet category were pooled using random-effects meta-analyses. Certainty of evidence from cohort studies and RCTs was evaluated using the NutriGrade scoring system.

RESULTS: The updated search revealed 44 studies not identified in the previous review. Altogether, 117 studies including 3,202,496 participants were enclosed for meta-analysis. The highest adherence to MedDiet was inversely associated with cancer mortality (RRcohort: 0.87, 95% CI 0.82, 0.92; N = 18 studies), all-cause mortality among cancer survivors (RRcohort: 0.75, 95% CI 0.66, 0.86; N = 8), breast (RRobservational: 0.94, 95% CI 0.90, 0.97; N = 23), colorectal (RRobservational: 0.83, 95% CI 0.76, 0.90; N = 17), head and neck (RRobservational: 0.56, 95% CI 0.44, 0.72; N = 9), respiratory (RRcohort: 0.84, 95% CI 0.76, 0.94; N = 5), gastric (RRobservational: 0.70, 95% CI 0.61, 0.80; N = 7), bladder (RRobservational: 0.87, 95% CI 0.76, 0.98; N = 4), and liver cancer (RRobservational: 0.64, 95% CI 0.54, 0.75; N = 4). Adhering to MedDiet did not modify risk of blood, esophageal, pancreatic and prostate cancer risk.

CONCLUSION: In conclusion, our results suggest that highest adherence to the MedDiet was related to lower risk of cancer mortality in the general population, and all-cause mortality among cancer survivors as well as colorectal, head and neck, respiratory, gastric, liver and bladder cancer risks. Moderate certainty of evidence from cohort studies suggest an inverse association for cancer mortality and colorectal cancer, but most of the comparisons were rated as low or very low certainty of evidence.

13 October 2020 In Phenolic compounds
Polyphenols are antioxidants contained in plants as olive and grape. As part of the Mediterranean diet, they may decrease the risk of cancer, of chronic and neurodegenerative diseases. Alcohol consumption plays a detrimental effect on health, causing tissue damage and disrupting the metabolism of Neurotrophins (NTs). NTs are crucial proteins for the life cycle of neuronal and non-neuronal cells. Alcohol abuse elicits changes in NTs levels in the brain and in other target organs, however, it was observed minor damage in animals early exposed to red wine, probably due to the antioxidant effects of polyphenols. Indeed, data show that resveratrol or other polyphenols extracted from the olive can effectively counteract serum free radicals’ formation caused by chronic alcohol intake, contrasting also alcohol-induced NTs liver elevation. The aim of the present review is to update pieces of evidences about the antioxidant properties of polyphenols and their role in counteracting alcohol-induced damage.
25 August 2020 In General Health

The beneficial association of the Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) with longevity has been consistently demonstrated, but the associations of MedDiet components have not been accordingly evaluated. We performed an updated meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies published up to 31 December 2017, to quantify the association of adherence to MedDiet, expressed as an index/score (MDS) and of its components with all-cause mortality.

We estimated summary relative risks (SRR) and 95 % CI using random effects models. On the basis of thirty studies (225 600 deaths), SRR for the study-specific highest/lowest and per 1sd MDS increment were 0.79 (95 % CI 0.77, 0.81, Iota 2=42 %, P-heterogeneity 0.02) and 0.92 (95 % CI 0.90, 0.94, Iota 2 56 %, P-heterogeneity <0.01), respectively. Inversely, statistically significant associations were evident in stratified analyses by country, MDS range and publication year, with some evidence for heterogeneity across countries overall (P-heterogeneity 0.011), as well as across European countries (P=0.018).

Regarding MDS components, relatively stronger and statistically significant inverse associations were highlighted for moderate/none-excessive alcohol consumption (0.86, 95 % CI 0.77, 0.97) and for above/below-the-median consumptions of fruit (0.88, 95 % CI 0.83, 0.94) and vegetables (0.94, 95 % CI 0.89, 0.98), whereas a positive association was apparent for above/below-the-median intake of meat (1.07, 95 % CI 1.01, 1.13).

Our meta-analyses confirm the inverse association of MedDiet with mortality and highlight the dietary components that influence mostly this association. Our results are important for better understanding the role of MedDiet in health and proposing dietary changes to effectively increase adherence to this healthy dietary pattern

25 August 2020 In General Health

BACKGROUND: The Mediterranean diet (MD) has been reported to be associated with lower cancer risk. However, while previous studies explored major single components of the MD, only 1 previous study has investigated adherence to the MD in relation to melanoma risk.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to explore the relations between adherence to the MD and the risk of skin cancer, including melanomas, basal cell carcinomas (BCCs), and squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs).

DESIGN: Etude Epidemiologique aupres de femmes de la Mutuelle Generale de l'Education Nationale (E3N) is a prospective cohort of 98,995 French women aged 40-65 y in 1990. Dietary data were collected via a validated food questionnaire in 1993. Adherence to the MD was assessed using a 9-unit dietary score that incorporates intakes of fruit, vegetables, legumes, cereal products, olive oil, fish, dairy products, meat products, and alcohol. We used Cox proportional hazards regression models to compute HRs and 95% CIs adjusted for age and main known skin cancer risk factors.

RESULTS: From 1993 to 2008, a total of 2003 skin cancer cases were ascertained among 67,332 women, including 404 melanomas, 1367 BCCs, and 232 SCCs. Score of adherence to the MD was associated with lower risk of skin cancer (HR: 0.83; 95% CI: 0.73, 0.93 for high compared with low score, Ptrend = 0.001). MD score was also inversely and linearly associated with risks of melanoma (HR: 0.72; 95% CI: 0.54, 0.96; Ptrend = 0.02) and BCC (HR: 0.77; 95% CI: 0.66, 0.90; Ptrend = 0.0006) but not SCC (HR: 1.08; 95% CI: 0.75, 1.55; Ptrend = 0.68), although with no heterogeneity across skin cancer types (Pheterogeneity = 0.23).

CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that adherence to the MD is associated with a lower skin cancer risk in women, particularly melanoma and BCC. If confirmed in future research, these findings may have important implications in skin cancer prevention.

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