The Mediterranean diet and statins
For those who have already suffered a heart attack or stroke, the combination of statins and the Mediterranean diet seems to be the most effective choice to reduce the risk of mortality, especially from cardiovascular causes. This is the result of the Italian Moli-sani Study, published in the International Journal of Cardiology and conducted at I.R.C.C.S. Neuromed, Pozzilli, Italy, with the help of over 1,000 adults.
The traditional Mediterranean diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, cereals, olive oil, wine in moderation, fish and poor in meat and dairy products.
“We found that together, statins and the Mediterranean diet were more effective in reducing the risk of cardiovascular mortality, compared to those considered separately. The Mediterranean diet has facilitated the beneficial effect of statins, says Marialaura Bonaccio, epidemiologist at the Department of Epidemiology and Prevention and the first author of the study in question.
The researchers also analyzed the potential underlying mechanisms of this positive, so far under-explored, interaction between medication and eating habits.
“The favorable combination of statins and the Mediterranean diet – explains Licia Iacoviello, head of the Laboratory of Molecular and Nutritional Epidemiology of the same department and professor of hygiene at the University of Insubria – has acted rather on reducing subclinical inflammation, a condition that predisposes to a higher risk. This is of particular interest, especially in the light of our observation that a high level of subclinical inflammation doubles the risk of mortality in patients who have already had a heart attack or stroke. ”
“Our data – says Giovanni de Gaetano, the director of the Department of Epidemiology and Prevention – suggests that we should focus more on the possible interactions between food and drugs, an aspect largely neglected in epidemiological research. Of course, controlled clinical trials will further clarify these findings and new therapeutic possibilities could be designed for those who have already had a cardiovascular event, allowing a better modulation of pharmacological intervention in relation to life habits. This is a new aspect to the concept of personalized medicine. ”
We remind you here of the results of another recent study, which concluded that adopting the Mediterranean diet for one year favors intestinal bacteria that are related to “healthy aging” and can also help reduce frailty and cognitive decline.