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Anti-inflammatory effects of the Mediterranean diet: the experience of the PREDIMED study.

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Several epidemiological and clinical studies have evaluated the effects of a Mediterranean diet (Med-Diet) on total cardiovascular mortality, and all concluded that adherence to the traditional Med-Diet is associated with reduced cardiovascular risk. However, the molecular mechanisms involved are not fully understood. Since atherosclerosis is nowadays considered a low-grade inflammatory disease, recent studies have explored the anti-inflammatory effects of a Med-Diet intervention on serum and cellular biomarkers related to atherosclerosis. In a pilot study of the PREvencion con DIeta MEDiterranea (PREDIMED) trial, we analysed the short-term effects of two Med-Diet interventions, one supplemented with virgin olive oil and another with nuts, on vascular risk factors in 772 subjects at high risk for CVD, and in a second study we evaluated the effects of these interventions on cellular and serum inflammatory biomarkers in 106 high-risk subjects. Compared to a low-fat diet, the Med-Diet produced favourable changes in all risk factors. Thus, participants in both Med-Diet groups reduced blood pressure, improved lipid profile and diminished insulin resistance compared to those allocated a low-fat diet. In addition, the Med-Diet supplemented with virgin olive oil or nuts showed an anti-inflammatory effect reducing serum C-reactive protein, IL-6 and endothelial and monocytary adhesion molecules and chemokines, whereas these parameters increased after the low-fat diet intervention. In conclusion, Med-Diets down-regulate cellular and circulating inflammatory biomarkers related to atherogenesis in subjects at high cardiovascular risk. These results support the recommendation of the Med-Diet as a useful tool against CVD.


Keywords: with virgin olive, virgin olive, risk factors, high risk, inflammatory biomarkers, with virgin, supplemented with, cardiovascular risk, anti inflammatory, diet intervention, biomarkers related, studies have, inflammatory, effects, subjects, biomarkers, serum, cardiovascular, cellular

Authored by Estruch R. Department of Internal Medicine, Hospital Clinic, IDIBAPS, University of Barcelona, Spain. RESTRUCH@clinic.ub.es

Published in Proc Nutr Soc. 2010 Aug;69(3):333-40. Epub 2010 Jun 2. The full report is available online. link   A subscription to the periodical may be required.



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Replace omega-6 vegetable oils with omega-9 olive oil... Eat oily fish like tuna, sardines, anchovy, salmon, herring... Beans, lentils, peas add fiber... Nine or more 3-ounce servings of fruits or vegetables per day...