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Effectiveness of the Mediterranean diet in the elderly

Authors Roman B, Carta L, Martí­nez-González MA, Serra-Majem L

Published 7 March 2008 Volume 2008:3(1) Pages 97—109


Blanca Roman1, Laura Carta2, Miguel Ángel Martínez-González3, Lluís Serra-Majem4

1Mediterranean Diet Foundation, University of Barcelona Science Park, Spain; 2Department of Biosystems and Applied Sciences, Unit of Physiology and Human Nutrition, University of Cagliari, Italy; 3Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Navarra, Spain; 4Department of Clinical Sciences, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain

Abstract: The Mediterranean diet is known to be one of the healthiest dietary patterns in the world due to its relation with a low morbidity and mortality for some chronic diseases. The purpose of this study was to review literature regarding the relationship between Mediterranean diet and healthy aging. A MEDLINE search was conducted looking for literature regarding the relationship between Mediterranean diet and cardiovascular disease (or risk factors for cardiovascular disease), cancer, mental health and longevity and quality of life in the elderly population (65 years or older). A selection of 36 articles met the criteria of selection. Twenty of the studies were about Mediterranean diets and cardiovascular disease, 2 about Mediterranean diets and cancer, 3 about Mediterranean diets and mental health and 11 about longevity (overall survival) or mental health. The results showed that Mediterranean diets had benefits on risks factors for cardiovascular disease such as lipoprotein levels, endothelium vasodilatation, insulin resistance, the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome, antioxidant capacity, the incidence of acute myocardial infarction, and cardiovascular mortality. Some positive associations with quality of life and inverse associations with the risk of certain cancers and with overall mortality were also reported.

Keywords: Mediterranean diet, elderly, health, review

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