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

Individuals With a More Diverse Microbiota Resist Disease Better

06 Jul 2015 --- The lack of microbial wealth is a risk factor for developing certain conditions like type-2 diabetes, cancer and obesity, said experts at the CosmoCaixa event held by B·Debate, the International Center for Scientific Debate, an initiative between Biocat and the “la Caixa” Foundation.

Health & Nutrition News

EFSA Approves UV-Treated Bread to Give a Vitamin D Boost

06 Jul 2015 --- EFSA, the European Food Standards Agency, approved as a novel food, a revolutionary method that enriches bread with vitamin D by means of UV-radiation. The technology, pioneered by Swedish science start-up Viasolde, opens up new opportunities for food manufacturers who wish to introduce vitamin D to their products.

Business News

Digesting Bread and Pasta Can Release Biologically Active Molecules

03 Jul 2015 --- Biologically active molecules released by digesting bread and pasta can survive digestion and potentially pass through the gut lining, suggests new research. The study, published in the journal of Food Research International, reveals the molecules released when real samples of bread and pasta are digested, providing new information for research into gluten sensitivity.

Health & Nutrition News

Foodie Eating May Be Healthier Than Less-Adventurous Styles

03 Jul 2015 --- Think you're a foodie? Adventurous eaters, known as "foodies," are often associated with indulgence and excess. However, a new Cornell Food and Brand Lab study shows just the opposite -adventurous eaters weigh less and may be healthier than their less-adventurous counterparts.

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