The New England Journal of Medicine. April 4, 2013. This quintessential study on the Mediterranean diet is so famous in the medical world it actually goes by an acronym. The PREDIMED study. A multicenter trial in Spain whose participants were at high risk of cardiovascular disease. PREDIMED stands for “Prevencion con Dieta Mediterranea”.
What better time to talk about this study than while sitting in a cafe on the Costa Brava, Spain. Study participants and the researchers came from all over Spain. Madrid, Barcelona, Reus, Valencia, Vitoria, Malaga, Seville, Mallorca, Gran Canaria and Pamplona. The participants were randomly assigned to one of 3 diets: a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with mixed nuts, or a control group (advice to reduce dietary fat). A total of 7447 persons were enrolled in the study. Median (usually a measurement not a lot different than the term most people are familiar with which is the average) follow-up time for the participants was 4.8 years.
After only about 4.8 years on average, the researchers found a 30% reduction in the risk of cardiovascular events in the extra-virgin olive oil and mixed nuts groups compared with the reduce dietary fats group (remember it’s not the fat it’s the sugar). 30% less chance of a heart attack, stroke, or death from a cardiovascular cause. 3 out of every 10 people who would have had one of these events were saved simply by eating this way. In only 4.8 years on average there was this profound impact on cardiovascular risk.
How we choose to eat has an impact on all our organ systems at the same time, not only the cardiovascular system. Benefits from eating this way involves every part of us. The immune system. The brain and nervous system. The stomach and bowel/gastrointestinal system. Every part.
A simple search by me today on “pubmed”, the search engine for all things medical/scientific that doctors use all the time, reveals 5,473 different articles about the Mediterranean diet. We know a lot about how food impacts our health.
There is no specific “anti-inflammatory diet” but the Mediterranean diet seems to be as close as we have come so far.
“Got a revolution. Got to revolution.”