Search Results for "mediterranean"
Olive Oil Has Protective Effect on Colorectal Cancer
The Mediterranean diet, in which olive oil is the principle contributor to dietary fat (about 30%) has been shown to reduce the risks of heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer. This further supports this dietary pattern as being one of the healthiest on the planet. What is interesting in this study was that fish increased the risk of colon cancer. It would be interesting to compare types of fish to risks, as many types of fish have become contaminated with heavy metals.
J Epidemiol Community Health 2000;54:756-760 Olive oil, perhaps through its influence on secondary bile acid patterns in the colon, appears to protect against the development of colorectal cancer, according to research from Oxford University, in the UK. Meat and fish consumption, on the other hand, are positively associated with bowel cancer. “The model of meat, fish and olive oil accounted for 76% of the variation in colorectal cancer incidence between countries,” the investigators write. Vegetable consumption lost significance in the model once olive oil was included. The authors suggest that meat increases deoxycholic acid in the colon and rectum, inhibiting diamine oxidase, which is thought to have a role in colonic mucosal proliferation. Olive oil may reduce deoxycholic acid, increasing the availability of diamine oxidase and protecting against “mucosal turnover, polyp formation, and the adenoma/carcinoma sequence.”
Formulation Provides Lycopene with Same Bioavailability as Tomato Paste
Speaking of the carotenoids… This article is trying to find better ways to increase the absorption of the fat soluble lycopene. Without going to great lengths found in this article, one of the ways that researchers believe the Mediterranean diet provides extensive health benefits is the combination of olive oil with tomatoes, thus increasing the bioavailability of the lycopene.
Nutrition.org — Abstracts: Richelle et al. 132 (3): 404
Effects of Diet and Simvastatin on Lipids, Insulin, and Antioxidants
This studied evaluated the potentiating ability of a Mediterranean-type diet to a standard pharmaceutical regimine. The dietary changes in this study have some strong effects on certain risk factors for CVD. I would suggest dropping the simvastatin and adding exercise and possibly a natural cholesterol lowering compound such as garlic, niacin, policosanol or guggulipids.
Adherence to a Mediterranean Diet and Survival in a Greek Population
I still strongly believe that a Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest on the planet and research bears this out. It has been shown to be far more effective at lowering risk for as well as managing chronic conditions that the ADA or the AHA diets. Keep in mind that many national organizations such as the American Cancer Society, the American Diabetic Association and the American Heart Association are highly political, and their guidelines/recommendations are formed by a panel. These panels frequently contain members of organizations such as the Dairy Council and reps from some of the major processed food companies (Kellogg, Nabisco…). Thus, any recommendations given are “softened” by the business interests of these member organizations.
NEJM — Adherence to a Mediterranean Diet and Survival in a Greek Population.
Walnuts and LDL in hypercholesterolemic men
Far too often I hear of patients who avoid nuts, olive oil and avacodos because they are “ fattening” or may raise cholesterol. I’ve given up pulling my hair out over this issue. Just because a food has fat in it does not in any way mean that it will end up as adipose tissue. Quite the opposite as yet another study proves. This study compared a walnut-enriched diet to a Mediterranean-type diet and found excellent results. We are starting to see the potential for modification of an excellent dietary pattern (the Mediterranean diet) with the additional of other beneficial foods.
J. Lipid Res. — Abstracts: Muñoz et al. 42 (12): 2069
Heart disease, stroke and cancer remain our #1 killers, and yet each is avoidable. But, to prevent stroke, you must make a conscious effort to do these things.
We all want our bodies and brains to last about the same amount of time. However, this does not happen without a conscious effort at protecting both. Luckily, this is not really all that difficult.
One of the surest ways to rapidly short-circuit the brain is a stroke. Brain attack. Transient ischemic attack (TIA). The end result can vary from full recovery to significant disability to death.
The good thing is that this event is heavily preventable.
Before we go further, however, I do need to clarify that we are talking about ischemic stroke–the kind that occurs when a blood vessel gets blocked and the brain tissues fed by this blood vessels begin to die off from lack of oxygen. This is a much different animal than a hemorrhagic stroke, where a blood vessel ruptures and the blood pours into an area of the brain, damaging the tissues affected. Most of what we know about preventing strokes deals with the ischemic variety.
So what do we know can help prevent strokes?
- Diets high in olive oil have been shown to lower the risk of stroke.
- Dark chocolate.
- A pro-diabetic lifestyle
This list is, of course, much longer. But I wanted to add a 4th item.
Lycopene. That red pigment of the carotenoid family found in items like tomatoes, watermelon and grapefruit.
This particular study looked at how much of an effect the intake of lycopene had on the risk of stroke. Overall, those men with the highest levels of lycopene in their bloodstream had a 59% lower risk of ischemic stroke and a 55% lower risk of all types of stroke.
That’s pretty powerful stuff. Interestingly, one of the components of the Mediterranean diet that is believed to play an important role is the lycopene content from the tomatoes as well as the olive oil content. Olive oil, being fat soluble, will help our bodies absorb more lycopene from the diet. This kind of nicely ties in together several aspects of lifestyle that lower the risk of stroke.
Incidentally, studies have shown that the inclusion of a the tomato peel actually increases the lycopene level in the bloodstream. Just FYI…
So what’s your favorite way to get more lycopene in your diet?
Mediterranean Diet, Lifestyle Factors, and 10-Year Mortality in Elderly
I have been a strong supporter of the Mediterranean Diet for a long time and it’s great when studies come out suggesting a FIFTY PERCENT decrease in mortality with persons following a Mediterranean-type diet. Remember that the Med diet comes out of a culture that had a low mortality from many chronic diseases. The national organizations (AHA, ADA…) come up with a diet plan they THINK will help. And don’t think that special interests and the almightly dollar do not play a major role.
JAMA — Abstract: Mediterranean Diet, Lifestyle Factors, and 10-Year Mortality in Elderly European Men and Women: The HALE Pr –
The Mediterranean diet is one of the healthier diets on the planet. Part of this benefit is likely due to the benefits of the extra virgin olive oil on the heart.
The Paleo diet (otherwise known as the “caveman diet”) is also a pretty good choice. I believe it was Dr. Alex Vasquez who coined the term “Paleo-Mediterranean,” which refers to adding aspects of both diets together to get the best of both. As an example, extra virgin olive oil is a generally not accepted as a component of the Paleo diet (I’d have a hard time imagining cavemen operating an olive oil press….), but would become part of the lifestyle on a Paleo-Mediterranean diet.
There have been aspects of the Mediterranean diet that have been examined, such as increased absorption of fat soluble nutrients like lycopene (the red pigment in tomatoes) because of the olive oil in the diet.
Overall, though, it is pretty consistent that better adherence to a Mediterranean type diet shows better longevity and health. One study found that, in those with the highest level of adherence, lifespan was a whopping 15 years longer. Not too shabby.
Virgin olive oil is the term that applies to olive oil made strickly with mechanical means (i.e. no chemicals are used in the process). The “extra” part refers to a higher quality form that has lower levels of acidity than virgin olive oil. Cold pressed then refers to the temperature at which the process occurs. Cold temps protect the oil from oxidative damage that begins to occur naturally as soon as the olive is picked.
Unquestionably, the less processed the olive oil, the higher the levels of protective compounds (referred to as polyphenols–olive oil may contain as many as 30 different types). So the first cold pressed extra extra extra virgin olive oil will have a stronger effect on health then the “been around the block and probably needs the Gardasil vaccination” olive oil.
One little piece of important information here…
Heating has a tendency to destroy these protective compounds. For this reason, we have two types of olive oil that we keep in the house. The first is a basic olive oil used in cooking methods that involve heat such as sauteeing or to cover the bottom of the pan. The other type is of the extra virgin olive oil that we use for dips, spraying on air popped popcorn or to spray on vegetables to get lightly grilled.
Prior studies have shown that extra virgin olive oil has some powerful benefits on the heart by protecting our blood vessels. This particular article adds a little more specificity in regards to just how much extra virgin olive oil can help to protect your heart and life.
Results were pretty impressive:
- Those with the highest intake of olive oil had a 26% lower risk of dying from any cause
- These people also had an impressive 44% lower risk of dying from heart disease
- Overall, for each increase in olive oil of 10 g (per 2000 calories), there was a 7% lower risk of dying and a 13% lower risk of dying of heart disease
So, given this information, what is your favorite way to add olive oil into your diet?
Effect of a low glycemic index diet with soy protein and phytosterols on CVD risk factors in postmenopausal women
I have frequently voiced my unhappiness with most of the national anti-disease organizations. They take a very soft approach and seems like industry probably has a large voice in their recommendations. We have seen study after study finding stronger effects and better tolerability of a Mediterranean diet and low glycemic index diet vs the American Heart Association step 1 diet.
I guess my question is, with all the research coming out over the years, why haven’t the AHA changed their recommendations?