Mediterranean diet linked to lower mortality risk, according to study


A new study indicated that the Mediterranean diet is associated with a lower risk of mortality based on dietary biomarkers measured in older participants over the course of 20 years.

The study, published in BCM Medicine, and led by Cristina Andrés-Lacueva, PhD, head of the Research Group on Biomarkers and Nutritional & Food Metabolomics, followed 642 subjects, aged 65 or younger. Over a period of 20 years, the participants’ dietary biomarkers were measured through urinary total polyphenols and resveratrol metabolites and plasma carotenoids, selenium, vitamin B12, linolenic, eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids, and the mono-unsaturated/saturated fatty acid ratio. Researchers also observed participants’ dietary habits through a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). At the end of the study, mortality rates were determined through Cox regression.

In the 20-year follow-up, researchers observed 435 deaths. Of the deaths, 139 were caused from cardiovascular diseases and 89 were a result of cancer. Results showed dietary biomarker-Mediterranean diet scores were inversely related to all cause and cardiovascular mortality. No inverse relation was found between dietary biomarkers for the Mediterranean diet and cancer mortality. The association between mortality and the FFQ was found to be statistically insignificant.

The study’s findings show that a Mediterranean diet could result in a lower risk of mortality in older people, suggesting the diet may be beneficial for older patients.