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Centenarians pp 161-168 | Cite as

Impact of Mediterranean Diet on Longevity

Chapter

Abstract

Nutrition is considered one of the key behaviours that influence healthy ageing. Evidence on the impact of traditional Mediterranean diet (MD) on health and longevity has accumulated over the years. With a consistency unusual in biomedical research, adherence to MD has been associated with better survival and lower incidence and mortality from cardiovascular diseases and malignant neoplasms. These associations were evident among diverse populations, at different points in time and by different investigators, using both observational and experimental study designs, thus strengthening the likelihood of a possible causal association. Higher adherence to MD has also been associated with reduced incidence of type 2 diabetes, dementia and hip fractures, all of which have considerable burden among older adults. Beyond primary prevention, MD seems to possess a therapeutic and favourable prognostic role among patients with cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and cancer. Last but not least, MD is an excellent example of a sustainable diet, in which nutrition, local food production, food safety, culture, biodiversity and sustainability are strongly interconnected.

Keywords

Mediterranean diet Longevity Traditional foods Healthy ageing Dietary patterns 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hellenic Health FoundationAthensGreece
  2. 2.Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, School of MedicineNational and Kapodistrian University of AthensAthensGreece

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