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Randomized Control Trial
Mediterranean diet — characterized for an abundant use of olive oil, high consumption of fruit, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts, seeds, and moderate consumption of fish, seafood, fermented dairy products, and limited consumption of red meat, processed meat products, and sweets — has been linked to a large number of health benefits, including reduced mortality risk and the prevention of many chronic diseases, particularly CVD.
Evidence from recent studies support more positive benefits of Mediterranean diet. A randomized controlled trial of a modified Healthy-Mediterranean eating pattern in Americans demonstrated healthy benefits for patient with multiple sclerosis patients. After 6 months of intervention, patients with multiple sclerosis reduced fatigue, improved their symptoms, and disability. Likewise, a study conducted over 15 years of follow-up in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (ALSWH) cohort, concluded that women who reported better adherence to the Mediterranean diet had a lower incidence of hypertension and non-fatal CVD. Other studyconducted in the “Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra” (SUN) cohort, suggested an upward trend of improved in cognitive function among participants with higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet, however, beneficial changes of the Mediterranean diet were not clear over time.
The impact of the Mediterranean diet on gut microbiota composition has also been explored. A recent reviewdescribed numerous positive benefits of the Mediterranean diet on gut microbiota. Among these benefits, Mediterranean diet improved the diversity and richness of gut microbiota, increased certain beneficial bacteria, and decreased harmful bacteria. Moreover, these authors highlighted the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that extra virgin olive oil possesses and how MUFA‑rich diets may be positively correlated with beneficial bacteria. In addition, other scholars have evaluated the potential effects of olive-derived foods, such as olive pâté, on blood antioxidant levels. These authors concluded that the consumption of olive pâté and olive pâté reinforced with olive mill waste water unenhanced antioxidant levels, particularly in smokers.