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Mediterranean Diet Increases Longevity in Seniors

By jeremyc | September 3, 2018

New research shows a Mediterranean Diet improves mortality of older adults.

This is not the first study to investigate how a Mediterranean diet impacts longevity and health. But hardly any study has concentrated on elderly.

This recent research was done by Italian researchers, who studied almost 12,000 older adults in total. The research was done in two parts.

First, the experts focused on more than 5,000 individuals aged 65 and above for a period of about 8 years. In the second part, the researchers analyzed data of 6 relevant studies, taking the total sample size to nearly 12,000.

The researchers said they wanted to check if the Mediterranean diet affects the lifespan of elderly in the same way as general population.

Previous research shows the Mediterranean diet can lower mortality risk in the general population. Whether this is true for elderly too is something that has not been properly studied. This team set out to find out exactly that.

There are several definitions of what makes a diet a Mediterranean diet. However, broadly speaking, a Mediterranean diet is one that includes high amounts of plant foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole cereals, olive oil and pulses; moderate amounts of meat, dairy, red wine, and fish; and low amounts of sweets and eggs.

For their study, the researches relied on a ten-point Mediterranean-diet scale, with scores ranging from 0 to 9.

A score of 9 implies maximum adherence to a Mediterranean diet while a zero score means lowest adherence.

In the first phase of their study, the researchers noted that every one-point increment in the score was linked to reduction in all-cause mortality.

The researchers came to similar results in the second phase of the study, too. They considered six studies and added the data of these studies to their first study.

When the researchers analyzed the combined data, they found a 5% reduction in all-cause mortality for every one point increment in the score on the Mediterranean diet scale.

 

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