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The Mediterranean Diet reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease in populations that include diabetics

The Mediterranean Diet reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease in populations that include diabetics

2019/05/03 - The Mediterranean Diet reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease in populations that include people with diabetes, according to a study by the Biomedical Research Networking Center for Physiopathology of Obesity and Nutrition (CIBEROBN) carried out at the Rovira i Virgili University (URV) in cooperation with the University of Toronto and the Study Group on Diabetes and Nutrition of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD).
In order to develop recommendations based on scientific evidence, the Human Nutrition group of the URV led by Professor Jordi Salas-Salvadó has carried out a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies and clinical trials to summarize the available evidence on the relationship between the Mediterranean Diet and the incidence and mortality due to cardiovascular disease in populations that include patients with diabetes.

After evaluating 2,593 potential studies for inclusion in the meta-analysis (complex statistical analysis that attempts to summarize the results of different studies), 41 were finally selected for quantitative synthesis. The results from clinical trials suggest that the Mediterranean Diet reduces the risk of suffering total cardiovascular disease and myocardial infarction, as reported by the URV.

However, it was not possible to carry out a meta-analysis for the incidence and mortality due to coronary disease or stroke or mortality due to myocardial infarction due to the lack of studies in this regard.

The results from prospective cohort studies were in the same line. Individuals who had greater adherence to the Mediterranean Diet had a lower risk of developing -or dying from- different causes of cardiovascular disease, with the exception of stroke mortality, compared to those with low adherence to this dietary pattern.

The study suggests that the adoption of a Mediterranean dietary pattern has a beneficial role in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease in populations that include individuals with and without diabetes.

However, the researchers point out the importance of analyzing in the future the effects of the Mediterranean Diet on the prevention of cardiovascular disease only in individuals with diabetes, which, taking into account the present results, could benefit from the adoption of this healthy dietary pattern.

The exact mechanisms by which the Mediterranean Diet reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease are not known exactly. According to the teaching center, it seems that their high content of healthy fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated), fiber and polyphenols, can act synergistically modulating in a beneficial way different cardiovascular risk factors such as the lipid profile, blood pressure, levels of glucose and body weight.

This study led by Nerea Becerra-Tomás, postdoctoral researcher at the URV, and Professor Jordi Salas-Salvadó, director of the Nutrition Unit of the University, principal investigator at CIBERobn, the two members of the Pere Virgili Health Research Institute, has been published in the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition.
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