Mediterranean Diet Linked to Reduced Small Vessel Damage in the Brain

15 Feb 2012 --- “Studies have suggested that consumption of a MeDi (Mediterranean Diet) is associated with a reduced risk of the metabolic syndrome, coronary heart disease, stroke and cognitive disorders, but no studies to date, to our knowledge, have found an association between a MeDi and WMH volume (WMHV).”

Feb 15 2012 --- Consumption of a Mediterranean-style diet is associated with a reduced white matter hyperintesity volume, a marker of small vessel damage in the brain, according to a study led by Miller School researchers, which was published in the February issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

White matter hyperintensities (WMHs) visible on brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are markers of chronic small vessel damage, according to background information in the article. “Although diet may be an important predictor of vascular disease, little is known about the possible association between dietary habits and WMHs,” said Clinton Wright, M.D., M.S, the report’s senior author who is associate professor of neurology and scientific director of the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute at the Miller School. “Studies have suggested that consumption of a MeDi (Mediterranean Diet) is associated with a reduced risk of the metabolic syndrome, coronary heart disease, stroke and cognitive disorders, but no studies to date, to our knowledge, have found an association between a MeDi and WMH volume (WMHV).”

Lead author Hannah Gardener, Sc.D., epidemiologist in the Miller School’s Department of Neurology and a co-investigator in the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute, and colleagues evaluated data from 966 participants in the Northern Manhattan Study to examine the association between a MeDi and WMHV. Participants were given a food frequency questionnaire to assess dietary patterns during the previous year, and answers were used to determine a MeDi compliance score. The WMHV was measured by quantitative brain MRI.

Results of the survey showed that 11.6 percent of participants scored 0 to 2 on the MeDi scale, 15.8 percent scored 3, 23 percent scored 4, 23.5 percent scored 5, and 26.1 percent scored 6 to 9. Women had lower MeDi scores than men and participants who reported moderate to heavy levels of physical activity were more likely to report greater consumption of a MeDi. Participants with MeDi scores of 6 or higher also had lower BMI.

These results suggest a lower burden of WMHV among participants with a greater consumption of a MeDi. This association was independent of sociodemographic and vascular risk factors including physical activity, smoking, blood lipid levels, hypertension, diabetes, history of cardiac disease and BMI. Additionally, after adjustment, the only component of the MeDi score that was independently associated with WMHV was the ratio of monounsaturated to saturated fat.

“In summary, the current study suggests a possible protective association between increased consumption of a MeDi and small vessel damage,” Wright concluded. “The associations with WMHV may be driven by the favorable ratio of monounsaturated fat consumption over saturated fat. However, the results of the analysis of the individual MeDi scale components suggest that the overall dietary pattern, rather than any of the individual components, may be more etiologically relevant in relation to WMHV.”

The research was supported by grants from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the American Heart Association, and the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute.

To contact our editorial team please email us at editorial@cnsmedia.com

Related Articles

Nutrition & Health News

Mediterranean diet found to boost gut microbial diversity and reduce hospitalization in liver cirrhosis

13 Apr 2018 --- Following a Mediterranean-style diet, boosted with a good amount of vegetables and fermented milk products such as yogurt, along with coffee and tea, is linked to greater gut microbial diversity and a lower risk of hospitalization in patients with liver cirrhosis, according to a study presented at The International Liver Congress 2018 in Paris, France. 

Nutrition & Health News

Cognitive health: Cambridge Commodities taps into RTD functional formats 

12 Mar 2018 --- Cognitive functional foods have been growing in popularity among consumers and Cambridge Commodities believes that foods that improve brain function are set for strong growth in the coming years. The company is on a mission to reinvent nootropics, to make them more accessible for consumers to drink on the go and when they most need them. 

Nutrition & Health News

Controlled calories and low-fat diet may protect an aging brain, study shows

12 Mar 2018 --- Following a low-fat diet in combination with limited caloric consumption can prevent age-related brain dysfunction in aging mice. The study, published in Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience, also finds that exercise is far less effective than the caloric restriction in preventing such neurological, age-related changes. Although an early day’s rodent study, this data could demonstrate the potential importance of dietary fat intake on brain health in aging populations.

Nutrition & Health News

Little difference among diet plans’ long-term effectiveness, study shows

08 Mar 2018 --- Although different popular diets can help some people achieve modest weight loss with potential improvement in health risks, maintaining long-term weight loss remains challenging, and individuals with obesity should expect to regain weight when they stop treatment, according to a Scientific Statement by the Endocrine Society. The statement's authors examined the latest scientific evidence on a variety of diets, commercial diet plans such as Weight Watchers, exercise, obesity medications and types of bariatric surgery. Based on a review of more than 400 studies and peer-reviewed articles on obesity, the experts found all of the weight loss interventions had a high degree of variability when it came to effectiveness.

Nutrition & Health News

Saffron extract may help prevent depression in teens, study shows

07 Mar 2018 --- Depressed teenagers treated with saffron extract showed improvements in symptoms, according to a study published in The Journal of Affective Disorders. The study had positive effects although it is needed to “replicate these studies to confirm our initial positive findings,” says Adrian Lopresti, Senior Research Administrator at Murdoch University. Saffron is most commonly known as an expensive, golden-hued ingredient mostly used in cooking. However, it has been traditionally used as a treatment for depression in Iran.

More Articles
URL : http://www.nutritioninsight.com:80/news/Mediterranean-Diet-Linked-to-Reduced-Small-Vessel-Damage-in-the-Brain.html