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Benefits Of Mediterranean Diet Clinically Supported

The ‘Mediterranean diet’ has definite benefits for cardiovascular health, according to a study1 published recently in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Researchers led by Dr Demosthenes B. Panagiotakos, Harokopio University, Athens, conducted a systematic review and random effects meta-analysis of 50 epidemiological studies and randomised controlled trials. Including 35 clinical
trials, two prospective and 13 cross-sectional, the analysis amassed 534,906 participants in total.

Mediterranean food

Adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with reduced risk of metabolic syndrome (MS) (log hazard ratio: —¬0.69, 95% confidence interval [CI]: —1.24 to —1.16). Results from clinical studies revealed the protective role of the Mediterranean diet on components of MS, including waist circumference (—0.42 cm, 95% CI: —0.82 to —0.02), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (1.17 mg/dl, 95% CI: 0.38 to 1.96), triglycerides (—6.14 mg/dl, 95% CI: —10.35 to —1.93), systolic (—2.35 mm Hg, 95% CI: —3.51 to —1.18) and diastolic blood pressure (—1.58 mm Hg, 95% CI: —2.02 to —1.13), and glucose (—3.89 mg/dl, 95% CI: —5.84 to —1.95), whereas results from epidemiological studies also confirmed those of clinical trials.

“To the best of our knowledge, our study is the first work that has systematically assessed, through a large meta-analysis, the role of the Mediterranean diet on metabolic syndrome and its components,” said Dr Panagiotakos. “Our results add to the existing knowledge, and further demonstrate the protective role and the significance that lifestyle factors, and mainly dietary habits, have when it comes to the development and progression of the metabolic syndrome.”

The authors assert that their results are of considerable public health importance as the dietary pattern can easily be adopted by all population groups, cost-effectively serving primary and secondary prevention of MS and its individual components.


  1. Kastorini CM, Milionis HJ, Esposito K, Giugliano D, Goudevenos JA, Panagiotakos DB. The Effect of Mediterranean Diet on Metabolic Syndrome and its Components: A Meta-Analysis of 50 Studies and 534,906 Individuals. J Am Coll Cardiol, 2011;57:1299-1313.

Published on: April 6, 2011

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