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

Nutrition & Health News

DuPont soybean oil causes less obesity and insulin resistance, but may harm liver: study

06 Oct 2017 --- Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have found that while a genetically-modified (GM) soybean oil used in many restaurants induces less obesity and insulin resistance than conventional soybean oil, its effects on diabetes and fatty liver are similar to those of conventional soybean oil.

Nutrition & Health News

The seven steps to cognitive health, according to US advisory

13 Sep 2017 --- Cognitive health is a hot topic in the world of nutrition, and a leading US nonprofit heart health organization has given seven steps of advice focusing on the connection between heart and brain health. A new advisory from the American Heart Association (AHA) and American Stroke Association has made it clear that a healthy lifestyle benefits the brain as much as the rest of the body and it may lessen the risk of cognitive decline with age.

Nutrition & Health News

Biochemists dip into the anti-diabetic benefits of olives and olive oil

13 Sep 2017 --- A research team at Virginia Tech university in the US has discovered that the olive-derived compound oleuropein helps the body secrete more insulin, the central signaling molecule in the body that controls metabolism. The same compound also detoxifies the signaling molecule amylin that over-produces and forms harmful aggregates in Type 2 diabetes, according to the study. In these two distinct ways, oleuropein has been found to help prevent the onset of disease.

Nutrition & Health News

Studies suggest hair and brain health benefits of ExcelVite’s tocotrienol complex

06 Sep 2017 --- ExcelVite’s palm vitamin E tocotrienol complex known as EVNol SupraBio has been given a surprising potential new use, as an Ohio State University study has suggested that it can induce hair follicle growth. Vitamin E occurs naturally in eight different forms. The form of vitamin E used in the study, tocotrienol or TCT, is not abundant in the American diet but is available as a nutritional supplement. It is a common component of a typical Southeast Asian diet.

Nutrition & Health News

Study suggests vitamin D supplementation could help Ireland’s public health

06 Sep 2017 --- Researchers from Trinity College Dublin have discovered that one in eight adults over the age of 50 living in Ireland is vitamin D deficient. According to the research, this increases to one in four over winter, and 5 percent of adults over 50 are even vitamin D deficient during summer. The study has implications for people living in sunlight-starved countries across the globe and has led to calls for public health policy to consider supplementation.

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