Invited Commentary

Current Atherosclerosis Reports

, 15:370

First online:

Mediterranean Diet and Cardiovascular Disease: Historical Perspective and Latest Evidence

  • Michel de LorgerilAffiliated withLaboratoire Cœur et Nutrition, TIMC-IMAG CNRS 5525, Faculté de Médecine de Grenoble, Université Joseph Fourier Email author 

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The concept that the Mediterranean diet was associated with a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) was first proposed in the 1950s. Since then, there have been randomized controlled trials and large epidemiological studies that reported associations with lower CVD: in 1994 and 1999, the reports of the intermediate and final analyses of the trial Lyon Diet Heart Study; in 2003, a major epidemiological study in Greece showing a strong inverse association between a Mediterranean score and the risk of cardiovascular complications; in 2011–2012, several reports showing that even non-Mediterranean populations can gain benefits from long-term adhesion to the Mediterranean diet; and in 2013, the PREDIMED trial showing a significant risk reduction in a low-risk population. Contrary to the pharmacological approach of cardiovascular prevention, the adoption of the Mediterranean diet has been associated with a significant reduction in new cancers and overall mortality. Thus, in terms of evidence-based medicine, the full adoption of a modern version of the Mediterranean diet pattern can be considered one of the most effective approaches for the prevention of fatal and nonfatal CVD complications.


Mediterranean diet Cardiovascular disease (CVD) Myocardial infarction Alcohol Wine Polyphenols Randomized controlled trial (RCT) Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids