Clinical Trials and Their Interpretations (JR Kizer, Section Editor)

Current Atherosclerosis Reports

, 16:446

Latest Evidence of the Effects of the Mediterranean Diet in Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease

  • G. Chiva-BlanchAffiliated withCardiovascular Research Center (CSIC-ICCC)Biomedical Research Institute Sant Pau (IIB-Sant Pau)
  • , L. BadimonAffiliated withCardiovascular Research Center (CSIC-ICCC)Biomedical Research Institute Sant Pau (IIB-Sant Pau)
  • , Ramon EstruchAffiliated withDepartment of Internal Medicine, Hospital Clínic, Institut d’Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS), University of BarcelonaCIBER CB06/03 Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y la Nutrición, (CIBERobn) and RETIC RD06/0045 Email author 

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Abstract

The first step in the prevention of cardiovascular disease is healthy lifestyle and diet. Recent systematic reviews of observational studies ranked Mediterranean diet as the most likely dietary model to provide cardiovascular protection. This review updates the knowledge on the effects of Mediterranean diet from observational and randomized trials published in the last year. The results of the PREDIMED study, a randomized trial providing a higher level of scientific evidence than cohort studies, confirmed that the Mediterranean diet reduces the incidence of cardiovascular events. This effect may be exerted by reducing blood pressure; improving glucose metabolism, lipid profile, and lipoprotein particle characteristics; and decreasing inflammation and oxidative stress. It may also stem from a favorable interaction between diet and gene polymorphisms related to cardiovascular risk factors and events. These recent results allow us to recommend Mediterranean diet to subjects at high risk for cardiovascular disease with the highest level of scientific evidence.

Keywords

Cardiovascular death Cardiovascular disease Diabetes Fish Fruits Hypertension Inflammation Lipids Mediterranean diet Nuts Obesity Olive oil Oxidative stress Polyphenols Risk factors Vegetables