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The Mediterranean Diet And Cardioprotection: Historical Overview And Current Research

Authors Minelli P, Montinari MR

Received 30 June 2019

Accepted for publication 23 August 2019

Published 27 September 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 805—815

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JMDH.S219875

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


Pierluca Minelli,1 Maria Rosa Montinari2

1Faculty of Medicine and Surgery “A. Gemelli”, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy; 2Department of Biological and Environmental Science and Technology, University of Salento, Lecce, Italy

Correspondence: Maria Rosa Montinari
Department of Biological and Environmental Science and Technology, Complex Ecotekne, way Monteroni, University of Salento, Lecce 73100, Italy
Tel +39 83 229 8855
Email mariarosa.montinari@unisalento.it

Abstract: Ancient Greece was the cradle of the Mediterranean food tradition, characterized by the Mediterranean “eternal trinity” wheat - olive oil - wine, the very essence of the country’s traditional agricultural and dietary regime, enriched by a culture of sharing and commensality. This food model, subsequently adopted and spread by the Romans, was rediscovered at the end of the Second World War by two American researchers, Leland Allbaugh and Ancel Keys. With the famous Seven Countries Study, Keys demonstrated for the first time that populations practicing a Mediterranean diet - such as the Greeks and southern Italians - showed low mortality rates from ischemic heart disease compared to the peoples of Northern Europe and North America. Since then, numerous subsequent epidemiological studies and randomized clinical trials have confirmed the beneficial effects of the Mediterranean diet both in primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular diseases. This review will focus on the origins of the Mediterranean diet from its roots and its relationship to cardiovascular disease, with a brief overview of the nutritional mechanisms that influence atherosclerosis.

Keywords: mediterranean diet, cardiovascular disease, medical history


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