23 November 2020 In Phenolic compounds

OBJECTIVES: Habitual diet plays a major role in shaping the composition of the gut microbiota, and also determines the repertoire of microbial metabolites that can influence the host. The typical Western diet corresponds to that of an omnivore; however, the Mediterranean diet (MD), common in the Western Mediterranean culture, is to date a nutritionally recommended dietary pattern that includes high-level consumption of cereals, fruit, vegetables and legumes. To investigate the potential benefits of the MD in this cross-sectional survey, we assessed the gut microbiota and metabolome in a cohort of Italian individuals in relation to their habitual diets.

DESIGN AND RESULTS: We retrieved daily dietary information and assessed gut microbiota and metabolome in 153 individuals habitually following omnivore, vegetarian or vegan diets. The majority of vegan and vegetarian subjects and 30% of omnivore subjects had a high adherence to the MD. We were able to stratify individuals according to both diet type and adherence to the MD on the basis of their dietary patterns and associated microbiota. We detected significant associations between consumption of vegetable-based diets and increased levels of faecal short-chain fatty acids, Prevotella and some fibre-degrading Firmicutes, whose role in human gut warrants further research. Conversely, we detected higher urinary trimethylamine oxide levels in individuals with lower adherence to the MD.

CONCLUSIONS: High-level consumption of plant foodstuffs consistent with an MD is associated with beneficial microbiome-related metabolomic profiles in subjects ostensibly consuming a Western diet.

TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: This study was registered at clinical trials.gov as NCT02118857.

24 February 2016 In General Health

OBJECTIVE: To systematically review all the prospective cohort studies that have analysed the relation between adherence to a Mediterranean diet, mortality, and incidence of chronic diseases in a primary prevention setting. DESIGN: Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies.

DATA SOURCES: English and non-English publications in PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials from 1966 to 30 June 2008. Studies reviewed Studies that analysed prospectively the association between adherence to a Mediterranean diet, mortality, and incidence of diseases; 12 studies, with a total of 1 574,299 subjects followed for a time ranging from three to 18 years were included.

RESULTS: The cumulative analysis among eight cohorts (514,816 subjects and 33,576 deaths) evaluating overall mortality in relation to adherence to a Mediterranean diet showed that a two point increase in the adherence score was significantly associated with a reduced risk of mortality (pooled relative risk 0.91, 95% confidence interval 0.89 to 0.94). Likewise, the analyses showed a beneficial role for greater adherence to a Mediterranean diet on cardiovascular mortality (pooled relative risk 0.91, 0.87 to 0.95), incidence of or mortality from cancer (0.94, 0.92 to 0.96), and incidence of Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease (0.87, 0.80 to 0.96).

CONCLUSIONS: Greater adherence to a Mediterranean diet is associated with a significant improvement in health status, as seen by a significant reduction in overall mortality (9%), mortality from cardiovascular diseases (9%), incidence of or mortality from cancer (6%), and incidence of Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease (13%). These results seem to be clinically relevant for public health, in particular for encouraging a Mediterranean-like dietary pattern for primary prevention of major chronic diseases.

06 May 2014 In General Health




INTRODUCTION: The promotion of Mediterranean Diets has generated some doubts, because of the concern that its high fat content might lead to the development of obesity. METHODS: Longitudinal analysis of 6319 participants in the SUN cohort study. We used a validated semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire (136 items). Baseline adherence to a Mediterranean dietary pattern (MDP) was assessed using a score (score_1) including vegetables, fruits, cereals, nuts, pulses, fish, olive oil and moderate consumption of red wine (positively weighted), whereas meat and dairy products were negatively weighted. We assessed the association between the overall baseline adherence to the MDP (score_1) and subsequent weight change after 28 months of follow-up. We also built another score (score_2) to assess changes in diet during follow-up and appraised the association between the joint exposure to both scores and weight change during follow-up. RESULTS: Participants in the first quartile of score_1 (lowest baseline adherence to MDP) showed a higher weight gain (+0.73 kg) than those in the top quartile (+0.45 kg). The results indicated an inverse dose-response relationship (P for trend = 0.016). A similar inverse association was apparent when we used change in adherence to the MDP (score_2). However, both inverse associations did not remain statistically significant after adjusting for relevant confounders. Consumption of dairy products was inversely associated with weight gain. CONCLUSIONS: Although participants increased their average weight during the follow-up period, weight increments were smaller among those with a higher adherence to an 'a priori' defined MDP. Results did not remain statistically significant after multivariate adjustment.




06 May 2014 In General Health




OBJECTIVE: We examined associations between two Mediterranean diet (MD) adherence indexes (the MD index, MDI, and the MD score, MDS) and several blood biomarkers of diet and disease. SUBJECTS: We studied 328 individuals from Catalonia (Northeastern Spain), ages 18-75, who provided fasting blood samples, a subset of the 2346 individuals as part of a larger representative and random sample from the 1992-1993 Catalan Nutritional Survey. DESIGN AND METHOD: Diet was measured using 24-h recalls. Biomarkers studied were plasma levels of beta-carotene, alpha-tocopherol, retinol, vitamins B12, C and folates as well as serum total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Multivariate linear regression was used to analyse associations of the nutrient biomarkers with the dietary pattern indexes, adjusting for potential confounders. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Subjects with higher MD adherence, as measured by the two dietary indexes, had significantly higher plasma concentrations of beta-carotene, folates, vitamin C, alpha-tocopherol and HDL cholesterol. The most highly significant relationship was that between folates and the adherence to the MD Pattern, as determined by both indexes.These research findings suggest the potential usefulness of biomarkers as complementary tools for assessing adherence to a dietary pattern. This type of data not only informs the development of robust dietary adherence indexes, but it also provides specific clues about the potential physiological mechanisms that explain the beneficial effects of the MD pattern on chronic disease risk.




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