Mediterranean Diet + Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Cuts Diabetes Risk

Dietary changes without weight loss reduce risk among adults at high risk of cardiovascular disease

TUESDAY, Jan. 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A Mediterranean diet enriched with extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) is associated with reduction in the risk of new-onset diabetes among older adults at high risk for cardiovascular disease, according to a study published in the Jan. 7 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Jordi Salas-Salvadó, M.D., Ph.D., from the Instituto de Salud Carlos III in Madrid, and colleagues examined the efficacy of Mediterranean diets for the primary prevention of diabetes in a cohort of 3,541 patients without diabetes, aged 55 to 80 years, at high cardiovascular risk. Participants were randomly assigned and stratified to receive one of three diets: Mediterranean diet supplemented with EVOO, Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts, or a control diet (low-fat dietary advice). No weight loss or physical activity interventions were included.

The researchers found that, during follow-up, the rates of new-onset diabetes were 16.0, 18.7, and 23.6 per 1,000 person-years, respectively, for the Mediterranean diet supplemented with EVOO, Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts, and control diet. After multivariate adjustment, the hazard ratios for Mediterranean diet supplemented with EVOO and for the Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts were 0.60 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.43 to 0.85) and 0.82 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.61 to 1.10), respectively, compared with the control diet.

"A Mediterranean diet enriched with EVOO but without energy restrictions reduced diabetes risk among persons with high cardiovascular risk," the authors write.

The Fundación Patrimonio Comunal Olivarero and Hojiblanca, the California Walnut Commission, the Borges Mediterranean Group, and Morella Nuts donated the olive oil, walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts used in the study, respectively.

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