Mediterranean Diet Protects against Diabetes in Some

By Gardner, Jonathan | Clinical Psychiatry News, July 2008 | Go to article overview

Mediterranean Diet Protects against Diabetes in Some


Gardner, Jonathan, Clinical Psychiatry News


A Mediterranean diet high in vegetables, fruits, and cereal grains and low in meat can significantly reduce the risk of diabetes in initially healthy people, according to a large Spanish cohort study published online May 30 in BMJ.

In a median of 4 years of follow-up with more than 13,000 Spanish university graduates without diabetes at baseline, researchers from the University of Navarra, Pamplona, found that those with food intake at baseline that conformed strongly with a Mediterranean diet had an adjusted 0.17 incidence rate ratio of type 2 diabetes, compared with those whose diet scored poorly on the 9-point dietary index. Those with a moderate Mediterranean diet score had an adjusted 0.4 incidence rate ratio of diabetes, compared with those who scored poorly.

Rich in vegetables, fruits, cereal grains, legumes, fish, and olive oil, and low in meat intake, a Mediterranean diet has, in previous studies, been found to be protective against coronary death. It also has been associated with a reduction in diabetes incidence among patients who have survived myocardial infarctions, the researchers noted.

"Two trials have shown that virgin olive oil protects against insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome," wrote the researchers, led by Dr. Miguel Angel Martinez-Gonzalez, chairman of the department of preventive medicine and public health at the university.

"Apart from olive oil, adherence to an overall Mediterranean-type food pattern is related to lower plasma concentrations of inflammatory markers and markers of endothelial dysfunction. These biomarkers are predictive of the future occurrence of type 2 diabetes," the researchers wrote.

Researchers recruited university graduates and registered nurses to enroll in a long-term prospective cohort study beginning in December 1999. …

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