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Mediterranean diet may lower risk of diabetes
Date:3/27/2014

fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, fish, olive oil and even a glass of red wine.

"A meta-analysis captures the limitations of individual studies, and this type of study is important to help inform guidelines and evidence-based care," Panagiotakos said. "Diabetes is an ongoing epidemic and its relation to obesity, especially in the Westernized populations, is well known. We have to do something to prevent diabetes and changing our diet may be an effective treatment."

The number of diabetes cases has doubled worldwide in the past 30 years and has been linked to the growing obesity epidemic. People with diabetes have trouble controlling their blood sugar because they either do not produce the hormone insulin or do not use it properly. If uncontrolled, diabetes can lead to complications including blindness, kidney failure, cardiovascular disease and amputations.

Panagiotakos said he believes the Mediterranean diet, in particular, lowers the risk of diabetes by helping to guard against obesity. Earlier research has shown that following the traditional Mediterranean diet is also linked to weight loss, reduced risk of heart disease and related death, as well as lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels.

Researchers initially identified more than 400 related studies for their analysis but excluded the vast majority based on criteria they set and study designs (for example, studies not actually addressing the issue of diet and diabetes even though they were identified through key words used, lack of a control group or randomization, inclusion of people with diabetes or prediabetes or limiting the study only to a component of the traditional Mediterranean diet). Diet was most often assessed by food frequency questionnaires and 24-hour or three-day recall. The control dietary groups varied but included the diets common to the study location.


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Contact: Beth Casteel
bcasteel@acc.org
202-375-6275
American College of Cardiology
Source:Eurekalert

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