New Study Demonstrates the Anti-inflammatory Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet in Older Adults

by Ella

In a recent cross-sectional study, researchers delved into the potential of the Mediterranean diet (MD) in reducing systemic inflammation among Brazilian adults, shedding light on the relationship between MD adherence and various components of inflammation. The study, utilizing data from the 2015 ISA-Nutrition collected during the Health Survey of São Paulo, focused on 290 younger individuals (aged 20 to 59 years) and 293 older adults (aged 60 years and above).

The methodology involved random selection of individuals residing in permanent private households in São Paulo’s metropolitan region, excluding those on enteral or parenteral diets and chronic alcoholics. Researchers assessed MD adherence using the Mediterranean Diet Score (MedDietScore), derived from two 24-hour diet recalls, and measured systemic inflammation through serum C-reactive protein (CRP), adiponectin, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) levels.


Findings revealed that higher adherence to the MD was associated with reduced levels of systemic inflammation, even after adjusting for various demographic and lifestyle factors. Specifically, older adults who closely followed the MD exhibited a 12% decrease in systemic inflammation scores. Notably, certain components of the MD, such as olive oil and vegetable consumption, were inversely correlated with inflammation levels in older adults.


Furthermore, the study highlighted differences in dietary patterns between younger and older individuals adhering to the MD. While both age groups showed similar levels of MD adherence, older adults consumed less full-fat dairy and meat but more olive oil and vegetables, leading to better inflammatory markers.


The study underscores the potential of the MD in controlling health issues, particularly in older individuals, by mitigating systemic inflammation. Future research endeavors should adopt longitudinal designs and include more diverse populations to validate these findings and enhance their applicability on a broader scale.




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