Diabetes MellitusDiet-MediterraneanHeart DiseaseStroke

Lower risk of diabetes with the Mediterranean diet

Researchers in Spain report the results of the PREDIMED-Reus Nutrition intervention study.

First, the details.

  • 418 nondiabetic adults at high risk for cardiovascular disease were randomly assigned to a treatment group.
    • Low-fat diet (control group)
    • Mediterranean diet, supplemented with free virgin olive oil (1 liter/week)
    • Mediterranean diets, supplemented with nuts (30 grams/day)
  • The groups followed their diet without any attempt to restrict calories, and they received no advice on physical activity.
  • Diabetes was diagnosed using the 2009 American Diabetes Association criteria.

And, the results.

  • After about 4 years, the incidence of diabetes was as follows.
    • 10%: Mediterranean-diet with olive oil group
    • 11%: Mediterranean-diet with nuts group
    • 18%: Control group
  • When pooling the 2 Mediterranean-diet groups compared to the control group, the incidence of diabetes was reduced by 52%.
  • Greater adherence to the Mediterranean-diet was associated with a lower incidence of diabetes.
  • The reduction in diabetes risk occurred in the absence of significant changes in body weight or physical activity.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “Mediterranean diets without calorie restriction appear to be effective in the prevention of diabetes in subjects at high cardiovascular risk.”

MayoClinic.com has a succinct review of the Mediterranean diet.

Lots of summaries of research on the benefits of the Mediterranean diet can be found here.

10/22/10 18:09 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.