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Experts Examine Mediterranean Diet’s Health Effects For Older Adults

April 18, 2013

According to a study published in the Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, a baseline adherence to a Mediterranean diet (MeDiet) is associated with a lower risk of hyperuricemia, defined as a serum uric acid (SUA) concentration higher than 7mg/dl in men and higher than 6mg/dl in women.

Hyperuricemia has been associated with metabolic syndrome, hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease, gout, and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. The MeDiet is characterized by a high consumption of fruits, vegetables, legumes, olive oil, nuts, and whole grain; a moderate consumption of wine, dairy products, and poultry, and a low consumption of red meat, sweet beverages, creams, and pastries. Due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, the MeDiet might play a role in decreasing SUA concentrations.

Conducted by Marta Guasch-Ferré and 11 others, this study is the first to analyze the relationship between adherence to a MeDiet in older adults and the risk of hyperuricemia. The five-year study looks at 7,447 participants assigned to one of three intervention diets (two MeDiets enriched with extra virgin olive oil or mixed nuts, or a control low-fat diet). Participants were men aged 55 to 80 years and women aged 60 to 80 years who were free of cardiovascular disease but who had either type 2 diabetes mellitus or were at risk of coronary heart disease.

The findings below demonstrate the positive health effects of a MeDiet in older adults:

-Rates of reversion were higher among hyperuricemic participants at baseline who had greater adherence to the MeDiet.
-Consuming less than one serving a day of red meat compared with higher intake is associated with 23 percent reduced risk of hyperuricemia.
-Consuming fish and seafood increased the prevalence of hyperuricemia.
-Drinking more than seven glasses of wine per week increased the prevalence of hyperuricemia.
-Consuming legumes and sofrito sauce reduced the prevalence of hyperuricemia.
-Reversion of hyperuricemia was achieved by adherence to the MeDiet alone, without weight loss or changes to physical activity.

The paper “Mediterranean Diet and Risk of Hyperuricemia in Elderly Participants at High Cardiovascular Risk” can be accessed at www.oxfordjournals.org/page/5147/2.

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Source: GSA



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