Mediterranean Diet Prevents Chronic Diseases

A systematic review and meta-analysis by Italian researchers, suggests that adherence to a Mediterranean diet can provide protection against major chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s diseases.

Twelve studies, involving nearly 1.6 million people followed for periods ranging from 3 to 18 years, were analysed. The results showed that people who adhered strictly to the Mediterranean diet enjoyed significant health benefits, including a 9% decrease in overall mortality, a 9% decrease in death from cardiovascular disease specifically, a 13% reduction in incidence of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, and a 6% reduction in cancer.

(Adherence to Mediterranean Diet and Health Status: Meta-Analysis. BMJ September 2008.)