Friday, May 30, 2008


THE Mediterranean diet, which is famously beneficial for the cardiovascular system, also helps protect against diabetes, according to a paper published online today by the British Medical Journal.

The mainstays of the Mediterranean diet are olive oil, fish, grains, fruit, nuts and vegetables, usually supplemented by a modest amount of red wine. Meat and dairy products have only a minor role.

Researchers at the University of Navarra in northern Spain recruited 13,753 people with graduate-level education between December 1999 and November 2007 and who had no history of diabetes when they were enrolled.

Their health and dietary habits were then tracked in detail over the following months and years.

During the follow-up period - an average of 4.4 years over the range of participants - 103 people became diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, with a large preponderance of cases among those who did not follow the basics of the Med diet.

Those who adhered to the diet most strictly enjoyed a relative reduction of 83 per cent in the risk of diabetes.

Intriguingly, many people in this group also had the biggest accumulation of risk factors for the disease - they were older, were fatter, had a family history of diabetes, more sedentary lifestyle or were ex-smokers.

But they appear to have been shielded by the diet, the authors say. ..theaustralian

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