The Mediterranean diet has long been hailed as a heart-healthy eating plan. Now, a new study by NU-AGE – a research facility dedicated to investigating nutrition’s role in aging – suggests it can counteract or slow the effects of growing older.
At a scientific conference in Brussels, NU-AGE researchers reported the results of a new study that found the Mediterranean diet significantly decreased levels of a protein known to be an inflammatory marker linked with the aging process.
They also noted people with osteoporosis who follow such a diet have a lower rate of bone loss.
“This is the first project that goes in such depths into the effects of the Mediterranean diet on health of elderly population,” explained project coordinator Claudio Franceschi, a professor at the University of Bologna, Italy.
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“We are using the most powerful and advanced techniques including metabolomics, transcriptomics, genomics and the analysis of the gut microbiota to understand what effect, the Mediterranean-style diet has on the population of over 65 years old.”
The study involved 1,142 people from France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and the United Kingdom. Each volunteer was given a diet plan to follow.
The results showed those following a Mediterranean diet fared better than those on other eating plans, even though there were significant differences in results depending on the person’s gender, nationality, genetic makeup, body composition, compliance to the study, response to the diet, blood measurements, and more.