Mediterranean Diet Prevents Cancer, Protects Heart and Brain
by Justin Q Taylor
A trio of new studies of the Mediterranean diet add to growing evidence of incredible health benefits:
A study released yesterday by the University of Ohio indicates that a molecule found in celery and parsley (among other foods), Apigenin, encourages normal cell death through apoptosis, reversing the immortality cancer cells tend to develop.
Another pair of recent publications were released as part of the PREDIMED program, which was designed to “assess the efficacy of the Mediterranean diet in the primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases.”
One PREDIMED study shows that high-risk patients following the Mediterranean diet supplemented with either olive oil or nuts had a significantly lower incidence of major cardiovascular events compared to a low fat diet.
A smaller study in the PREDIMED program indicated that the Mediterranean diets also displayed cognitive benefits in relation to a low fat diet. Significantly lower rates of mild cognitive impairment and dementia were observed in the Mediterranean diet groups supplemented with olive oil or nuts.
Caveat: It should be noted that there is no small amount of bias inherent in all this studying of the trendy Mediterranean diet. On PubMed, a simple search for “Mediterranean Diet” research since January yields 80 results. An identical search for “low fat diet” yields 49 results (this is the diet used as a comparison in the PREDIMED studies because it is commonly recommended by doctors). Another search for the admittedly more obscure “indian diet” gives a single result. Perhaps an Indian diet is the healthier diet; we may not find out until Indian food becomes the next health trend and funding is granted for this research. The key takeaway from these studies is that high vegetable-fat diets have been shown to produce better health outcomes than the standard low fat diet currently recommended for patients with major cardiovascular risk factors.