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.

Related Articles

Health & Nutrition News

New Research On Walnuts And The Fight Against Alzheimer's Disease

22 Oct 2014 --- A new animal study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease indicates that a diet including walnuts may have a beneficial effect in reducing the risk, delaying the onset, slowing the progression of, or preventing Alzheimer's disease.

Health & Nutrition News

Study: Older Persons Differ In Their Emotions Relating To Mealtimes

21 Oct 2014 --- Older persons can be divided into four groups based on their emotional experience of mealtimes. That is the conclusion of scientists from Wageningen UR Food & Biobased Research on the basis of research carried out by members of the senior test panel SenTo. The study, which was published in Appetite in September, offers product developers and marketers tools for better adapting their products to meet the differing needs and wants of the growing population of older persons.

Food Ingredients News

US Industry Survey: Over 30,000 Healthier Product Choices Launched in US From 2002 to 2013

21 Oct 2014 --- More than 30,000 healthier product choices have been made available to consumers between 2002 and 2013 according to the 2014 Health & Wellness Survey released today by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA). The new choices represent an additional 10,000 in just the last four years.

Food Ingredients News

Naturex Develops Maca Product to Enhance Libido Naturally

21 Oct 2014 --- During the Supply Side West show, Naturex unveiled a new maca product in its portfolio of natural sexual performance solutions. With a human study, this new product answers the need for natural, sustainably sourced and cost-effective ingredient for the sexual health category.

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