Results from a new research project suggest that following a Mediterranean-style diet can lower the levels of an inflammatory marker linked to aging. The research, part of a five-year research project called NU-AGE, further suggests that a Mediterranean-style diet can reduce the rate of bone loss in people who have osteoporosis.
Researchers suggest that it’s the first of its kind project that goes to great depths to analyze how the Mediterranean diet affects seniors over 65. For their analysis, they used genomics, transcriptomics, and metabolomics. They also looked at gut microbiota to understand what effect the Mediterranean-type diet has on seniors.
The project took place in the UK, France, Poland, Italy, and the Netherlands, and included 1, 296 subjects. Volunteers followed personalized Mediterranean-style diets to see if it could slow the ageing process. The volunteers varied in body composition, genes, blood measurements, inflammatory factors, and how they responded to the diet.
Researchers also looked at barriers to diet improvements and socio-economic factors. Country differences were seen when comparing several factors:
- In France and the UK, over 70% of subjects believed they had high nutrition knowledge compared to 31% in Poland.
- Volunteers from the UK and the Netherlands seemed to understand nutrition claims better than participants from France and Italy.
- Approximately 40% of volunteers in Italy believed that nutrition claims on food products to be reliable compared to 20% of Brits.
- There were no gender differences observed when it came to nutrition knowledge between males and females.
A separate study published in Translational Medicine earlier this year investigated the link between bone health and following the Mediterranean Diet. Preliminary results showed there was a correlation between following the Mediterranean Diet and bone health parameters—highlighting potential beneficial effects of nutritional interventions that promote a Mediterranean-style diet as a safe form of treatment in ageing.
Vuolo, L., et al., “Nutrition and Osteoporosis: Preliminary data of Campania Region of European PERsonalised ICT Supported Service for Independent Living and Active Ageing,” Translational Medicine, 2016 Jan 31;13:13-8. eCollection 2015; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27042428.