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NutENews Septemper 2015

logo-health Welcome to NutENews – particularly all the new health professionals who signed up at recent conference events – we hope you enjoy reading our quarterly enewsletter.

In this issue of NutENews we update you on recently published papers from the PREDIMED Mediterranean diet study. PREDIMED was a large, long-term primary pervention trial. It compared the effects of a Mediterranean diet with additional olive oil and nuts to a control lower-fat diet, on cardiovascular health effects in an elderly population. The study was conducted in 16 study centres in Spain with nearly 7500 participants followed for nearly five years. The study’s ethics committee stopped the trial early due to the positive results – they could no longer let those following the lower-fat diet to continue missing out on the benefits of the Mediterranean diet.
As a result of this new evidence we have updated our PREDIMED summary brochure and developed a new infographic

Lisa Yates
Program Manager and Dietitian Nuts for Life

What’s new from PREDIMED?

a1c483fe-0594-4974-a779-179c55771970 Following the Mediterranean diet with extra olive oil or the Mediterranean diet plus 30grams of nuts a day for around 4.8years resulted in a 30% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) compared to following the lower-fat diet. This was without advice to restrict energy or exercise. Diabetes risk was also reduced – by 40% for the olive oil diet group and 18% for the nuts group compared to control. Both diet groups also produced significant improvements in a range of risk factors: blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, blood lipids, lipoprotein particle size, inflammation, oxidative stress, and carotid atherosclerosis.(1)

Both Mediterranean diets with olive oil or nuts may counteract the effects of increased adiposity on the risk of CVD. As waist to height ratio, BMI or waist circumference increased there was a signifcant increased risk of CVD events but this was only significant in the control lower-fat diet group. Those consuming a lower-fat diet and who gained weight or central adiposity, their risk of CVD increased. Whereas those consuming the Medterranean diets with olive oil and nuts were more protected from CVD even if their weight and central adiposity increased. This suggests a Mediterranean diet with extra olive oil and nuts (healthy fats) counterbalanced the effects of adiposity on the risk of CVD.(2)

PREDIMED also found other foods had significant roles to play in reducing some chronic health conditions. Researchers found participants eating more yoghurt (low-fat or high-fat) or low-fat milk had a reduced risk of Metabolic Syndrome.(3) Greater dairy consumption in general, and yoghurt in particular, was assosciated with a reduce risk of type 2 diabetes.(4) Fruit consumption of more than 210grams per day had a 41% lower risk of all-cause mortality.(5) Moderate red wine consumption (1 or more drinks a day) was associated with a lower prevalence of Metabolic Syndrome.(6)

A fascinating study in genetics found, that in 520 PREDIMED participants who were genotyped, those with the gene variant Pro/Ala in the PPARγ2 gene (which has been associated with lower cardiovascular risk and a longer lifespan) had lower telomere shortening. Those who adhered to the Mediterranean diet interventions better had longer telomere length. A greater healthy fat to carbohydrate ratio also resulted in longer telomeres. (Telomere shortening is thought to reduce longevity).(7)


bfc8ff3b-755d-4300-95a4-2664139557c6 PREDIMED-PLUS is a new multi-centre, randomised, primary prevention trial on overweight/ obese men and women over 55 years with metabolic syndrome. Unlike PREDIMED 1 the intervention is an intensive weight-loss lifestyle program with energy-restricted Mediterranean diet and physical activity compared with a less intensive program using Mediterranean diets (without energy restriction or physical activity) and their effects on CVD risks. There will be about 6000 participants (3000 in each group). Recruitment finishes in December 2015 with the final results available in 2020.(8)

PREDIMED 1 collected so much data after its eight years, it is likely research will undercover more interesting facts (there have been 155 published papers to date) about the benefits of a Mediterranean diet with nuts and olive oil. So we stay tuned…


  1. Martínez-González MA et al Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet: Insights From the PREDIMEDProg Cardiovasc Dis. 2015 Jul-Aug;58(1):50-60.
  2. Eguaras S et al Does the Mediterranean diet counteract the adverse effects of abdominal adiposity? Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2015 Jun;25(6):569-74.
  3. Babio N et al Consumption of Yogurt, Low-Fat Milk, and Other Low-Fat Dairy Products Is Associated with Lower Risk of Metabolic Syndrome Incidence in an Elderly Mediterranean Population. J Nutr. 2015 Aug 19. pii: jn214593. [Epub ahead of print]
  4. Díaz-López A et al Dairy product consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes in an elderly Spanish Mediterranean population at high cardiovascular risk. Eur J Nutr. 2015 Feb 7. [Epub ahead of print]
  5. Buil-Cosiales P et al Fiber intake and all-cause mortality in the Prevención con Dieta Mediterránea (PREDIMED) study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Dec;100(6):1498-507.
  6. Tresserra-Rimbau A et al Moderate red wine consumption is associated with a lower prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in the PREDIMEDBr J Nutr. 2015 Apr;113 Suppl 2:S121-30.
  7. García-Calzón S et al Pro12Ala polymorphism of the PPARγ2 gene interacts with a mediterranean diet to prevent telomere shortening in the PREDIMED-NAVARRA randomized trial. Circ Cardiovasc Genet. 2015 Feb;8(1):91-9.

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