Thursday, July 20, 2006

Another Win for the Mediterenean Diet

Diet is a very important part of coronary risk factor modification in the prevention of CAD. The standard prescription is low salt, low cholesterol diet. Dr Ramon Estruch and colleaques reported in the Annals, a study entitled "Effects of a Mediterranean-style diet on cardiovascular risk factors. A randomized trial" . This study is also called the PREDIMED study. The doctors at Barcelona compared a diet rich in olive oil and nuts, to a diet low in fats, in 772 asymptomatic patients with either type 2 diabetes or three or more CHD risk factors. All subjects were advised to increase intake of vegetables, legumes, fruit, and fish, while decreasing their intake of meat, sugary foods, and dairy.

After 3 months, all patients lost weight and BMI. However, those on the Mediteranean diet had lower plasma glucose, lower systolic blood pressure, and lower total cholesterol/HDL-cholesterol ratio. The markers of inflammation were also lower on those on the Mediteranean diet. The 3 month trial period seemed too short for any clinical events differentiation, but the trend was going the right way.

I am certain the authors will be following their patients for longer periods, perhaps 3-5 years to see the difference in MACCE events which I am certain will come, perhaps, not as significant as the differences in the "statins" study. The point that the authors are making is that should you have to recommend a diet, a mediteranean diet is better than a low fat diet. However, it is important to note that the olive oil diet is a little different in taste from the usual vegetable oils we use in cooking.

We Chinese may not exactly endure ourselves to the Mediteranean diet, although many of my patients have declared that they are on a mediteranean diet. It is important too to note that olive oil is not cheap locally, but than, for the sake of good cardiac health, a few extra dollars should not make alot of difference.

No comments: