Clinical Practice & Epidemiology in Mental Health




ISSN: 1745-0179 ― Volume 16, 2020
SYSTEMATIC REVIEW

Mediterranean Diet and its Benefits on Health and Mental Health: A Literature Review



Antonio Ventriglio1, *, Federica Sancassiani2, Maria Paola Contu3, Mariateresa Latorre1, Melanie Di Slavatore1, Michele Fornaro4, Dinesh Bhugra5
1 Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy
2 Dipartimento di Scienze Mediche e Sanità Pubblica, Università degli Studi di Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy
3 Dipartimento di Scienze Chirurgiche, Università degli Studi di Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy
4 Department of Neuroscience, Reproductive Science and Odontostomatology, School of Medicine 'Federico II' Naples, Naples, Italy.
5 Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, London, UK

Abstract

Mediterranean Diet (MD) is currently considered one of the most healthy dietary models worldwide. It is generally based on the daily intake of fruit and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, fish, white meats, and olive oil. It may also include moderate consumption of fermented dairy products, a low intake of red meat, and red/white wine during the main course. Even if the effect of MD on cancer prevention as well as on human metabolic and cardiovascular balance has been discussed, including the quality of life of the exposed population, the putative effects on mental health are still not properly investigated. This narrative review reports on some emerging pieces of evidence on the possible impact of MD on general health and the outcome of psychiatric disorders (e.g., major depression, anxiety) and encourages further studies to test the benefits of healthy food selection on the health of the general population.

Keywords: Mediterranean Diet, Health, Mental Health, Depression, Anxiety, Cancer.


Article Information


Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2020
Volume: 16
Issue: Suppl-1, M11
First Page: 156
Last Page: 164
Publisher Id: CPEMH-16-156
DOI: 10.2174/1745017902016010156

Article History:

Received Date: 4/4/2020
Revision Received Date: 4/6/2020
Acceptance Date: 6/6/2020
Electronic publication date: 30/07/2020
Collection year: 2020

© 2020 Ventriglio et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode). This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


* Address correspondence to this author at the Dipartimento di Medicina Clinica e Sperimentale; Università degli Studi di Foggia - 71121 Foggia - Italy; Tel: 0881732221; E-mail: a.ventriglio@libero.it





1. INTRODUCTION

Mediterranean Diet (MD) is currently considered one of the most healthy dietary models worldwide [1Morris L, Bhatnagar D. The Mediterranean diet. Curr Opin Lipidol 2016; 27(1): 89-91.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MOL.0000000000000266] [PMID: 26655296]
]. It was described, at first, by Ancel Keys as a dietary regimen based on low quantities of fat oils and high levels of vegetable oils, widespread in Greece and South of Italy in the ‘60s [2Davis C, Bryan J, Hodgson J, et al. Definition of the mediterranean diet; A literature review. Nutrients 2015; 7(11): 9139-53., 3Martínez-González MA, Sánchez-Villegas A. The emerging role of Mediterranean diets in cardiovascular epidemiology: monounsaturated fats, olive oil, red wine or the whole pattern? Eur J Epidemiol 2004; 19(1): 9-13.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/B:EJEP.0000013351.60227.7b] [PMID: 15012018]
]. The Greek Dietary Guidelines (1999) [4Ministry of Health and Welfare, Supreme Scientific Health Council. Dietary Guidelines for Adults in Greece. Arch Hell Med 1999; 16: 516-24.], the Mediterranean Diet Foundation (2011) [5Bach-Faig A, Berry EM, Lairon D, et al. Mediterranean diet pyramid today. Science and cultural updates. Public Health Nutr 2011; 14(12A): 2274-84.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1368980011002515] [PMID: 22166184]
], and Oldway’s Preservation and Trust (2009) [6Mediterranean Diet Pyramid. Available online: http://oldwayspt.org/resources/heritage-pyramids/mediterranean-pyramid/overview] proposed three Mediterranean Diet Pyramids recommending respectively: a) olive oil, vegetables, fish, bread and cereals > 6 serves/daily; eggs, legumes and nuts 3-4 serves/daily; b) olive oil at every meal, vegetables, fruits, fish, legumes and cereals ≥ 2 serves/daily; and c) olive oil, vegetables, fish, legumes, cereal and bread at every meal. MD may also include moderate consumption of fermented dairy products, and a low intake of red meat and moderate consumption of wine during the main courses [2Davis C, Bryan J, Hodgson J, et al. Definition of the mediterranean diet; A literature review. Nutrients 2015; 7(11): 9139-53.].

MD, from a nutritional point of view, is low in saturated fats and animal proteins, rich in antioxidants, fibers and monounsaturated fats and shows an adequate balance of omega-6 / omega-3 fatty acids. Therefore, benefits on human health may be explained on the high intake of antioxidants, fibers, monounsaturated and omega-3 fatty acids, phytosterols and probiotics [1Morris L, Bhatnagar D. The Mediterranean diet. Curr Opin Lipidol 2016; 27(1): 89-91.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MOL.0000000000000266] [PMID: 26655296]
, 2Davis C, Bryan J, Hodgson J, et al. Definition of the mediterranean diet; A literature review. Nutrients 2015; 7(11): 9139-53.].

Several studies have described the food consumption patterns and related health consequences around the world. At the end of ‘50s, a large study named The Seven Countries’ study (which included Italy, Finland, Greece, United States, the Netherlands, Yougoslavia, Japan) confirmed that MD was adopted in Greece and Italy, whereas in some Nordic countries, the consumption of sugars, fats, milk and potatoes was very high. The United States reported high consumption of sugars, fruit, meat, while Japan reported a higher consumption of fish and rice [7Kromhout D, Keys A, Aravanis C, et al. Food consumption patterns in the 1960s in seven countries. Am J Clin Nutr 1989; 49(5): 889-94.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/49.5.889] [PMID: 2718924]
]. The PREDIMED (PREvención con DIeta MEDiterránea) multicenter study assessed and described the long-term effects of MD on cardiovascular disease and other clinical conditions [8Estruch R, Ros E, Salas-Salvadó J, et al. PREDIMED Study Investigators. Primary prevention of cardiovascular disease with a Mediterranean diet. N Engl J Med 2013; 368(14): 1279-90.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1200303] [PMID: 23432189]
-11Estruch R, Ros E, Salas-Salvadó J, et al. PRedimed study primary prevention of cardiovascular disease with a mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts. N Engl J Med 2018; 378(25): e34.]. It has been launched in 2013 [9Martínez-González MA, Corella D, Salas-Salvadó J, et al. PREDIMED Study Investigators. Cohort profile: design and methods of the PREDIMED study. Int J Epidemiol 2012; 41(2): 377-85.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyq250] [PMID: 21172932]
] and randomized 7447 patients to MD with supplementation of olive oil or nuts versus control diet. A large amount of study- reports have been published over the years with lights and shadows about the validity of sampling since MD was differently considered among cohorts of the study [10Agarwal A, Ioannidis JPA. PREDIMED trial of Mediterranean diet: retracted, republished, still trusted? BMJ 2019; 7: 365-1341.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l341]
] and control diet was not specifically described for comparisons. A second- step- study named PREDIMED-Plus has been conducted to evaluate the impact of lifestyle intervention and energy-restricted MD on the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease among 6874 subjects recruited in 23 centers and hospitals in Spain. These combined interventions, energy-restricted MD with higher intake of polyphenols and physical activity, were significantly associated with an improvement of compounds of metabolic syndrome among subjects involved such as inflammatory biomarkers and blood cholesterol and triglycerides [12Castro-Barquero S, Tresserra-Rimbau A, Vitelli-Storelli F, et al. Dietary polyphenol intake is associated with hdl-cholesterol and a better profile of other components of the metabolic syndrome: A predimed-plus sub-study. Nutrients 2020; 12(3)-15Fernández-García JC, Muñoz-Garach A, Martínez-González MÁ, et al. Association between lifestyle and hypertriglyceridemic waist phenotype in the predimed-plus study. Obesity (Silver Spring) 2020; 28(3): 537-43.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/oby.22728] [PMID: 32090511]
]. This large trial has also demonstrated that MD may improve the general quality of life of subjects and physical activity may have benefits on quality of life and cognitive functioning [16Daimiel L, Martínez-González MA, Corella D, et al. Physical fitness and physical activity association with cognitive function and quality of life: baseline cross-sectional analysis of the PREDIMED-Plus trial. Sci Rep 2020; 10(1): 3472., 17Galilea-Zabalza I, Buil-Cosiales P, Salas-Salvadó J, et al. Mediterranean diet and quality of life: Baseline cross-sectional analysis of the PREDIMED-PLUS trial. PLoS One 2018; 13(6): 0198974.].

It is of interest that a new large study, named PREDI-DEP, has been launched to assess the employment of Mediterranean Diet (MD) supplemented with extra virgin olive oil or nuts in preventing the risk of relapse of unipolar depression over two years of clinical follow-up [18Sánchez-Villegas A, Cabrera-Suárez B, Molero P, et al. Preventing the recurrence of depression with a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil. The PREDI-DEP trial: study protocol BMC Psychiatry 2019; 19(1): 63.]. This may add to the evidence that MD moderates the association between multimorbidity and depressive symptoms among major depression patients as reported by an Italian study group in 2020 [19Vicinanza R, Bersani FS, D'Ottavio E, et al. Adherence to Mediterranean diet moderates the association between multimorbidity and depressive symptoms in older adults. Arch Gerontol Geriatr 2020; 13(88): 104022.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.archger.2020.104022]
].

Also, it is of note that a healthy dietary regimen and physical exercise should be generally recommended for mentally ill patients to improve the outcome of illness and reduce mortality for metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular diseases mostly related to unhealthy lifestyle, physical comorbidities and psychotropic treatments [20Fond G, Young AH, Godin O, et al. Improving diet for psychiatric patients : High potential benefits and evidence for safety. J Affect Disord 2020; 265(265): 567-9.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2019.11.092] [PMID: 31757621]
-23Ventriglio A, Gentile A, Baldessarini RJ, et al. Improvements in metabolic abnormalities among overweight schizophrenia and bipolar disorder patients. Eur Psychiatry 2014; 29(7): 402-7.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eurpsy.2013.11.005] [PMID: 24439513]
].

This narrative review reports on available evidence on the possible impact of MD on health and mental health and encourages further studies to test the benefits of healthy food selection and healthy lifestyle on the general population.

2. METHODS

Scientific literature research was performed via Medline (PubMed version) employing the combination of keywords “Mediterranean Diet” AND: “Health”, “Mental Health”, “Depression”, “Anxiety”. We obtained and analyzed 65 studies of which 27 were selected because they met the following inclusion criteria: full-text articles, cohort, case-control or Randomized Clinical Trial study projects. We excluded articles published in languages ​​other than English, design studies other than RCT (n= 13), those focused on wine and drinks (n= 2), on adherence to a Mediterranean diet only (n= 11) and study protocol description only (n= 6) (see PRISMA [24Moher D, Liberati A, Tetzlaff J, Altman DG. Preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses: the PRISMA statement. PLoS Med 2009; 6(7)e1000097
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000097] [PMID: 19621072]
] flow diagram; Fig. (1). Twenty-seven articles were finally selected and analyzed for this report.

3. RESULTS

We focused the report on 27 articles as shown in the PRIMA diagram [25Griffin LE, Djuric Z, Angiletta CJ, et al. Mediterranean diet does not alter plasma trimethylamine N-oxide concentrations in healthy adults at risk for colon cancer. Food Funct 2019; 10(4): 2138-47.-51Vázquez-Fresno R, Llorach R, Urpi-Sarda M, et al. Metabolomic pattern analysis after mediterranean diet intervention in a nondiabetic population: a 1- and 3-year follow-up in the PREDIMED study. J Proteome Res 2015; 14(1): 531-40.]; 13 of these studies were carried out in Spain [26Gonzalez-Sanchez J, Recio-Rodriguez JI, Fernandez-delRio A, et al. Using a smartphone app in changing cardiovascular risk factors: A randomized controlled trial (EVIDENT II study). Int J Med Inform 2019; 125: 13-21.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2019.02.004] [PMID: 30914176]
-28Hurtado-Barroso S, Quifer-Rada P, Rinaldi de Alvarenga JF, et al. Changing to a low-polyphenol Diet alters vascular biomarkers in healthy men after only two weeks. Nutrients 2018; 14(10): 11.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu10111766]
, 33Gómez SF, Casas Esteve R, Subirana I, et al. Effect of a community-based childhood obesity intervention program on changes in anthropometric variables, incidence of obesity, and lifestyle choices in Spanish children aged 8 to 10 years. Eur J Pediatr 2018; 177(10): 1531-9.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00431-018-3207-x] [PMID: 30027297]
, 35Arpón A, Milagro FI, Razquin C, et al. Impact of Consuming Extra-Virgin Olive Oil or Nuts within a Mediterranean Diet on DNA Methylation in Peripheral White Blood Cells within the PREDIMED-Navarra Randomized Controlled Trial: A Role for Dietary Lipids. Nutrients 2017; 10(1), 38Assaf-Balut C, García de la Torre N, Durán A, et al. A Mediterranean diet with additional extra virgin olive oil and pistachios reduces the incidence of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM): A randomized controlled trial: The St. Carlos GDM prevention study. PLoS One 2017; 12(10): e0185873., 41Guasch-Ferré M, Salas-Salvadó J, Ros E, et al. The PREDIMED trial, Mediterranean diet and health outcomes: How strong is the evidence? Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 2017; 27(7): 624-32.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.numecd.2017.05.004] [PMID: 28684083]
, 44 - 46, 48, 49, 51Vázquez-Fresno R, Llorach R, Urpi-Sarda M, et al. Metabolomic pattern analysis after mediterranean diet intervention in a nondiabetic population: a 1- and 3-year follow-up in the PREDIMED study. J Proteome Res 2015; 14(1): 531-40.], 3 studies were carried out in the USA [25Griffin LE, Djuric Z, Angiletta CJ, et al. Mediterranean diet does not alter plasma trimethylamine N-oxide concentrations in healthy adults at risk for colon cancer. Food Funct 2019; 10(4): 2138-47., 31Zuniga KE, Parma DL, Muñoz E, Spaniol M, Wargovich M, Ramirez AG. Dietary intervention among breast cancer survivors increased adherence to a Mediterranean-style, anti-inflammatory dietary pattern: the Rx for Better Breast Health Randomized Controlled Trial. Breast Cancer Res Treat 2019; 173(1): 145-54.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10549-018-4982-9] [PMID: 30259284]
, 47Monlezun DJ, Kasprowicz E, Tosh KW, et al. Medical school-based teaching kitchen improves HbA1c, blood pressure, and cholesterol for patients with type 2 diabetes: Results from a novel randomized controlled trial. Diabetes Res Clin Pract 2015; 109(2): 420-6.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.diabres.2015.05.007] [PMID: 26002686]
], 3 studies were carried out in Italy [30Di Onofrio V, Gallé F, Di Dio M, et al. Effects of nutrition motivational intervention in patients affected by type 2 diabetes mellitus: a longitudinal study in Naples, South Italy. BMC Public Health 2018; 18(1): 1181., 36Grimaldi M, Ciano O, Manzo M, et al. Intensive dietary intervention promoting the Mediterranean diet in people with high cardiometabolic risk: a non-randomized study. Acta Diabetol 2018; 55(3): 219-26.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00592-017-1078-7] [PMID: 29218417]
, 40Vignini A, Nanetti L, Raffaelli F, et al. Effect of 1-y oral supplementation with vitaminized olive oil on platelets from healthy postmenopausal women. Nutrition 2017; 42: 92-8.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2017.06.013] [PMID: 28870486]
], 4 studies were carried out in other European Union countries [32Grabovac I, Haider S, Winzer E, et al. Changes in health parameters in older lay volunteers who delivered a lifestyle-based program to frail older people at home. Wien Klin Wochenschr 2018; 130(21-22): 637-44.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00508-018-1372-6] [PMID: 30094663]
, 34Jennings A, Cashman KD, Gillings R, et al. A Mediterranean-like dietary pattern with vitamin D3 (10 µg/d) supplements reduced the rate of bone loss in older Europeans with osteoporosis at baseline: results of a 1-y randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr 2018; 108(3): 633-40., 39San-Cristobal R, Navas-Carretero S, Livingstone KM, et al. Mediterranean Diet Adherence and Genetic Background Roles within a Web-Based Nutritional Intervention: The Food4Me Study. Nutrients 2017; 9(10)E1107
[http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu9101107] [PMID: 29019927]
, 50Regular consumption of Fiit-ns, a polyphenol extract from fruit and vegetables frequently consumed within the Mediterranean diet, improves metabolic ageing of obese volunteers: a randomized, double-blind, parallel trial. Int J Food Sci Nutr 2015; 66(1): 120-5.] and 4 studies were carried out in Australia [29Wade AT, Davis CR, Dyer KA, et al. A Mediterranean diet supplemented with dairy foods improves markers of cardiovascular risk: results from the MedDairy randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr 2018; 108(6): 1166-82.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqy207]
, 37Parletta N, Zarnowiecki D, Cho J, et al. A Mediterranean-style dietary intervention supplemented with fish oil improves diet quality and mental health in people with depression: A randomized controlled trial (HELFIMED). Nutr Neurosci 2019; 22(7): 474-87.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1028415X.2017.1411320] [PMID: 29215971]
, 42Davis CR, Bryan J, Hodgson JM, Woodman R, Murphy KJ. A Mediterranean Diet Reduces F2-Isoprostanes and Triglycerides among Older Australian Men and Women after 6 Months. J Nutr 2017; 147(7): 1348-55.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.3945/jn.117.248419] [PMID: 28566524]
, 43Jacka FN, O'Neil A, Opie R, et al. A randomised controlled trial of dietary improvement for adults with major depression (the 'SMILES' trial). BMC Med 2017; 15(1): 23.].

3.1. Characteristics of Samples in the Studies

Collectively, the studies involved 16,584 participants including 7447 from the PREDIMED- Trial reports [41Guasch-Ferré M, Salas-Salvadó J, Ros E, et al. The PREDIMED trial, Mediterranean diet and health outcomes: How strong is the evidence? Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 2017; 27(7): 624-32.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.numecd.2017.05.004] [PMID: 28684083]
, 44Estruch R, Martínez-González MA, Corella D, et al. Retracted: Effect of a high-fat Mediterranean diet on bodyweight and waist circumference: a prespecified secondary outcomes analysis of the PREDIMED randomised controlled trial. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol 2016; 4(8): 666-76.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2213-8587(16)30085-7] [PMID: 27283479]
, 45Toledo E, Salas-Salvadó J, Donat-Vargas C, et al. Mediterranean Diet and Invasive Breast Cancer Risk Among Women at High Cardiovascular Risk in the PREDIMED Trial: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Intern Med 2015; 175(11): 1752-60.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.4838] [PMID: 26365989]
, 48Eguaras S, Toledo E, Buil-Cosiales P, et al. Does the Mediterranean diet counteract the adverse effects of abdominal adiposity? Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 2015; 25(6): 569-74.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.numecd.2015.03.001] [PMID: 25921850]
, 51Vázquez-Fresno R, Llorach R, Urpi-Sarda M, et al. Metabolomic pattern analysis after mediterranean diet intervention in a nondiabetic population: a 1- and 3-year follow-up in the PREDIMED study. J Proteome Res 2015; 14(1): 531-40.]. Of all subjects involved in the studies, 4092 represented a healthy population, of which 2086 were children. We divided the studies into 9 groups based on different aims of the studies and population: healthy or young subjects, post-menopausal women, elderly subjects, pregnant women, depressive disorder patients, type-2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and metabolic syndrome (Table 1). One study [38Assaf-Balut C, García de la Torre N, Durán A, et al. A Mediterranean diet with additional extra virgin olive oil and pistachios reduces the incidence of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM): A randomized controlled trial: The St. Carlos GDM prevention study. PLoS One 2017; 12(10): e0185873.] examined a population of 874 pregnant women to describe gestational diabetes and dietary interventions, one study considered postmenopausal women [40Vignini A, Nanetti L, Raffaelli F, et al. Effect of 1-y oral supplementation with vitaminized olive oil on platelets from healthy postmenopausal women. Nutrition 2017; 42: 92-8.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2017.06.013] [PMID: 28870486]
], and two studies considered elderly population [34Jennings A, Cashman KD, Gillings R, et al. A Mediterranean-like dietary pattern with vitamin D3 (10 µg/d) supplements reduced the rate of bone loss in older Europeans with osteoporosis at baseline: results of a 1-y randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr 2018; 108(3): 633-40., 42Davis CR, Bryan J, Hodgson JM, Woodman R, Murphy KJ. A Mediterranean Diet Reduces F2-Isoprostanes and Triglycerides among Older Australian Men and Women after 6 Months. J Nutr 2017; 147(7): 1348-55.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.3945/jn.117.248419] [PMID: 28566524]
]. Regarding the evaluation of the impact of MD on specific health conditions, only 2 Australian studies considered the impact of diet on mental health including a total of 219 participants [37Parletta N, Zarnowiecki D, Cho J, et al. A Mediterranean-style dietary intervention supplemented with fish oil improves diet quality and mental health in people with depression: A randomized controlled trial (HELFIMED). Nutr Neurosci 2019; 22(7): 474-87.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1028415X.2017.1411320] [PMID: 29215971]
, 43Jacka FN, O'Neil A, Opie R, et al. A randomised controlled trial of dietary improvement for adults with major depression (the 'SMILES' trial). BMC Med 2017; 15(1): 23.], 3 studies described the effects of MD on patients with Type 2- Diabetes Mellitus, 9 studies involved samples of people affected or at risk of cardiovascular disease, 2 studies reported the effect of diet on subject affected or at risk of cancer, 2 studies reported about the impact of MD on metabolic syndrome (Table 1).

We also considered the mean ± standard deviation of the age of subjects sampled in the 27 studies. Studies involving “Healthy Subjects” reported high heterogeneity in age. Other studies reporting on physical morbidities (Type 2 Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases, Cancer, Metabolic Syndrome) involved people with age ranging from 50 and 65. Pregnant women group reported 32.7 years old whereas Depressive Disorder patients reported 44.32 years old (Table 2).

Since all the studies evaluated the impact of diet on the nutrition state of studies’ subjects, we have gathered data about Body Mass Index (BMI) as shown in Table 3. Three studies didn’t report the BMI of their sample [37Parletta N, Zarnowiecki D, Cho J, et al. A Mediterranean-style dietary intervention supplemented with fish oil improves diet quality and mental health in people with depression: A randomized controlled trial (HELFIMED). Nutr Neurosci 2019; 22(7): 474-87.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1028415X.2017.1411320] [PMID: 29215971]
, 38Assaf-Balut C, García de la Torre N, Durán A, et al. A Mediterranean diet with additional extra virgin olive oil and pistachios reduces the incidence of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM): A randomized controlled trial: The St. Carlos GDM prevention study. PLoS One 2017; 12(10): e0185873., 46Gomez-Delgado F, Garcia-Rios A, Alcala-Diaz JF, et al. Chronic consumption of a low-fat diet improves cardiometabolic risk factors according to the CLOCK gene in patients with coronary heart disease. Mol Nutr Food Res 2015; 59(12): 2556-64.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mnfr.201500375] [PMID: 26346429]
]. A significant improvement of BMI, as an outcome measure of being on MD, was found in four studies (all p≤0.01; [30Di Onofrio V, Gallé F, Di Dio M, et al. Effects of nutrition motivational intervention in patients affected by type 2 diabetes mellitus: a longitudinal study in Naples, South Italy. BMC Public Health 2018; 18(1): 1181., 39San-Cristobal R, Navas-Carretero S, Livingstone KM, et al. Mediterranean Diet Adherence and Genetic Background Roles within a Web-Based Nutritional Intervention: The Food4Me Study. Nutrients 2017; 9(10)E1107
[http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu9101107] [PMID: 29019927]
, 44Estruch R, Martínez-González MA, Corella D, et al. Retracted: Effect of a high-fat Mediterranean diet on bodyweight and waist circumference: a prespecified secondary outcomes analysis of the PREDIMED randomised controlled trial. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol 2016; 4(8): 666-76.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2213-8587(16)30085-7] [PMID: 27283479]
, 48Eguaras S, Toledo E, Buil-Cosiales P, et al. Does the Mediterranean diet counteract the adverse effects of abdominal adiposity? Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 2015; 25(6): 569-74.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.numecd.2015.03.001] [PMID: 25921850]
]).

3.2. Studies’ Design

The heterogeneity between each study's definition of dietary variables and the multiplicity of applications of MD in the different research works precluded any formal meta-analysis. The studies had different aims related to the type of population recruited. As shown in Table 1, most of the studies evaluated the impact of diet on metabolism (including diabetes) and cardiovascular outcomes. Two studied focused on the impact of diet on samples affected or at risk of cancer and only 4 studies focused on detecting “quality of life” or improvements in depressive symptoms (2 studies). The data were mainly derived from RCT studies with or without a parallel-group design. 2 studies had a crossover RCT design [28Hurtado-Barroso S, Quifer-Rada P, Rinaldi de Alvarenga JF, et al. Changing to a low-polyphenol Diet alters vascular biomarkers in healthy men after only two weeks. Nutrients 2018; 14(10): 11.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu10111766]
, 29Wade AT, Davis CR, Dyer KA, et al. A Mediterranean diet supplemented with dairy foods improves markers of cardiovascular risk: results from the MedDairy randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr 2018; 108(6): 1166-82.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqy207]
]. In most of the cases, there was an intervention group following MD and a control group with its usual diet. In 9 studies [35Arpón A, Milagro FI, Razquin C, et al. Impact of Consuming Extra-Virgin Olive Oil or Nuts within a Mediterranean Diet on DNA Methylation in Peripheral White Blood Cells within the PREDIMED-Navarra Randomized Controlled Trial: A Role for Dietary Lipids. Nutrients 2017; 10(1), 38Assaf-Balut C, García de la Torre N, Durán A, et al. A Mediterranean diet with additional extra virgin olive oil and pistachios reduces the incidence of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM): A randomized controlled trial: The St. Carlos GDM prevention study. PLoS One 2017; 12(10): e0185873., 40Vignini A, Nanetti L, Raffaelli F, et al. Effect of 1-y oral supplementation with vitaminized olive oil on platelets from healthy postmenopausal women. Nutrition 2017; 42: 92-8.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2017.06.013] [PMID: 28870486]
, 41Guasch-Ferré M, Salas-Salvadó J, Ros E, et al. The PREDIMED trial, Mediterranean diet and health outcomes: How strong is the evidence? Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 2017; 27(7): 624-32.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.numecd.2017.05.004] [PMID: 28684083]
, 44Estruch R, Martínez-González MA, Corella D, et al. Retracted: Effect of a high-fat Mediterranean diet on bodyweight and waist circumference: a prespecified secondary outcomes analysis of the PREDIMED randomised controlled trial. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol 2016; 4(8): 666-76.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2213-8587(16)30085-7] [PMID: 27283479]
, 45Toledo E, Salas-Salvadó J, Donat-Vargas C, et al. Mediterranean Diet and Invasive Breast Cancer Risk Among Women at High Cardiovascular Risk in the PREDIMED Trial: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Intern Med 2015; 175(11): 1752-60.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.4838] [PMID: 26365989]
, 46Gomez-Delgado F, Garcia-Rios A, Alcala-Diaz JF, et al. Chronic consumption of a low-fat diet improves cardiometabolic risk factors according to the CLOCK gene in patients with coronary heart disease. Mol Nutr Food Res 2015; 59(12): 2556-64.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mnfr.201500375] [PMID: 26346429]
, 48Eguaras S, Toledo E, Buil-Cosiales P, et al. Does the Mediterranean diet counteract the adverse effects of abdominal adiposity? Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 2015; 25(6): 569-74.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.numecd.2015.03.001] [PMID: 25921850]
, 51Vázquez-Fresno R, Llorach R, Urpi-Sarda M, et al. Metabolomic pattern analysis after mediterranean diet intervention in a nondiabetic population: a 1- and 3-year follow-up in the PREDIMED study. J Proteome Res 2015; 14(1): 531-40.] the EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) was considered an important element of MD. In 2 studies [26Gonzalez-Sanchez J, Recio-Rodriguez JI, Fernandez-delRio A, et al. Using a smartphone app in changing cardiovascular risk factors: A randomized controlled trial (EVIDENT II study). Int J Med Inform 2019; 125: 13-21.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2019.02.004] [PMID: 30914176]
, 27Alonso-Domínguez R, García-Ortiz L, Patino-Alonso MC, et al. Effectiveness of a multifactorial intervention in increasing adherence to the mediterranean diet among patients with diabetes mellitus type 2: A controlled and randomized study (EMID Study). Nutrients 2019; 11(1): E162.], some mobile devices (apps) were employed in the research design. The duration of the studies ranged from 2 weeks to 5 years according to the aim, design and study population.

Fig. (1)
Studies selection (PRISMA).


Table 1
Studies population.


Table 2
Age of subjects involved in 27 studies.


Table 3
Body Mass Index of subjects of studies.


3.3. Effectiveness of MD in Healthy Subjects

A total amount of 4092 healthy subjects were recruited in 5 studies. Gonzales Sanchez et al. [26Gonzalez-Sanchez J, Recio-Rodriguez JI, Fernandez-delRio A, et al. Using a smartphone app in changing cardiovascular risk factors: A randomized controlled trial (EVIDENT II study). Int J Med Inform 2019; 125: 13-21.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2019.02.004] [PMID: 30914176]
] reported on the effect on cardiovascular risk factors (CVRFs) of an intervention based on the use of a smartphone app associated with a consultation on physical activity and MD for 3 months and follow up at 12 months. The main result was the reduction of CVRFs such as systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, total cholesterol and triglycerides. The use of the mobile device for three months compared to standard diet and physical activity counseling did not add any further benefit in terms of reduction of CVRFs. Hurtado-Barroso et.al [28Hurtado-Barroso S, Quifer-Rada P, Rinaldi de Alvarenga JF, et al. Changing to a low-polyphenol Diet alters vascular biomarkers in healthy men after only two weeks. Nutrients 2018; 14(10): 11.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu10111766]
] reported on the reduction of vascular biomarkers after 2 weeks of polyphenol-rich diet among 22 healthy men. Subjects were randomly assigned to their usual diet versus a diet rich in polyphenols or low antioxidant diet. Polyphenols in urine were dosed as a compliance marker. Nitric oxide levels were also measured as biomarker and it was of note that slight dietary modifications (such as adjunctive foods rich in polyphenols) are associated with some variation in vascular biomarkers. In 84 healthy people [32Grabovac I, Haider S, Winzer E, et al. Changes in health parameters in older lay volunteers who delivered a lifestyle-based program to frail older people at home. Wien Klin Wochenschr 2018; 130(21-22): 637-44.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00508-018-1372-6] [PMID: 30094663]
], 60.06 ± 6.93 years old, two interventions (for 12 weeks) based on home visits with strength exercises and nutritional topics versus a control group receiving home visits with social support, have been compared. There were no significant changes in physical activity, quality of life and anthropometric measurements among the groups probably suggesting that the involvement of over 60 years old health volunteers in the study may lead to some limited health benefits. Gomez et al. [33Gómez SF, Casas Esteve R, Subirana I, et al. Effect of a community-based childhood obesity intervention program on changes in anthropometric variables, incidence of obesity, and lifestyle choices in Spanish children aged 8 to 10 years. Eur J Pediatr 2018; 177(10): 1531-9.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00431-018-3207-x] [PMID: 30027297]
] employed the Thao-Child Health Program (TCHP), defined as a community-based intervention for healthy weight development and lifestyle choices, involving 2086 school-aged children. The program included seminars on eating habits and cooking techniques, physical activity, conferences, sport community days, etc., compared to the usual health policy for the control group. The intervention did not report short-term benefits for children with obesity. 1607 healthy subjects [39San-Cristobal R, Navas-Carretero S, Livingstone KM, et al. Mediterranean Diet Adherence and Genetic Background Roles within a Web-Based Nutritional Intervention: The Food4Me Study. Nutrients 2017; 9(10)E1107
[http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu9101107] [PMID: 29019927]
] were exposed to a web-based nutritional intervention (named Food4Me) providing a collection of dietary, anthropometric and biochemical data from volunteers receiving personalized nutritional advice versus general healthy eating information. After a 6 months period, volunteers with a low genetic risk score for metabolic issues reported a greater reduction in total cholesterol whereas those with high baseline MD score reported a great decrease in Body Mass Index (BMI), waist circumference and fasting glucose. The results of this study suggested that adherence to MD may lead to beneficial effects on metabolic outcomes, which may be influenced by the personal genetic risk score.

3.4. Effectiveness of MD in Elderly Subjects

The impact of MD on elderly subjects was tested by Jennings et al. [34Jennings A, Cashman KD, Gillings R, et al. A Mediterranean-like dietary pattern with vitamin D3 (10 µg/d) supplements reduced the rate of bone loss in older Europeans with osteoporosis at baseline: results of a 1-y randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr 2018; 108(3): 633-40.] who described variations of inflammatory indexes, bone mineral density (BMD) and biomarkers of bone and collagen degradation in a sample of 1294 people. The MD employment did not show significant changes in BMD as well as urinary biomarkers. However, a subgroup analysis of individuals with osteoporosis at baseline (BMD T-score ≤ −2.5 SDs) showed that the MD may reduce the expected wane in femoral neck BMD (p = 0.04) but had no effect on the lumbar spine or whole-body BMD. Davis et al. [42Davis CR, Bryan J, Hodgson JM, Woodman R, Murphy KJ. A Mediterranean Diet Reduces F2-Isoprostanes and Triglycerides among Older Australian Men and Women after 6 Months. J Nutr 2017; 147(7): 1348-55.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.3945/jn.117.248419] [PMID: 28566524]
] also reported that MD reduced triglycerides after 3 months (p< 0.001) and at 6 months (p = 0.03) and reduced also F2-IsoPs (F2-isoprostanes; as lipid biomarkers for oxidative stress) after 3 months (p < 0.001) and 6 months (p < 0.001). Lipoproteins, glucose, insulin, and protein- c reactive concentrations were not significantly modified by MD.

3.5. Effects of MD on Pregnant and Post-menopausal Women

Vignini et al. [40Vignini A, Nanetti L, Raffaelli F, et al. Effect of 1-y oral supplementation with vitaminized olive oil on platelets from healthy postmenopausal women. Nutrition 2017; 42: 92-8.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2017.06.013] [PMID: 28870486]
] tested if dietary supplementation with extra-virgin olive oil (VOO) enriched with vitamins D3, K1, and B6 (VitVOO) could modify the expression of stress markers among 60 postmenopausal women. After 1 year, those women with a higher intake of VitVOO showed lower plasma stress markers levels. It should be noticed that, in the study design, the diet regimen was inspired by MD although no specific MD intervention has been employed.

Assaf-Balutet al. [38Assaf-Balut C, García de la Torre N, Durán A, et al. A Mediterranean diet with additional extra virgin olive oil and pistachios reduces the incidence of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM): A randomized controlled trial: The St. Carlos GDM prevention study. PLoS One 2017; 12(10): e0185873.] described the impact of MD on the incidence of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus in two groups of pregnant women: 500 normoglycemic pregnant women at 8-12 gestational weeks were assigned to the intervention group based on integrated MD with extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and pistachios or to the Control Group (n = 500) based on a standard diet with limited fat intake. The primary outcome was to evaluate the effect of the intervention on the incidence of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) at 24-28 gestational weeks. 177 out of 874 women, who completed the study, were diagnosed with GDM, 103/440 (23.4%) in the control group, and 74/434 (17.1%) in the intervention group (p = 0.012). MD also improved the outcome of GDM treated with insulin and reduced the possibility of perinatal trauma (all p <0.05). These data suggest that an integrated MD reduces the incidence of GDM and improves several maternal and neonatal outcomes.

3.6. Effectiveness of MD on Cardiovascular Diseases

The positive impact of MD on cardiovascular diseases has been widely explored and described in the last decade [11Estruch R, Ros E, Salas-Salvadó J, et al. PRedimed study primary prevention of cardiovascular disease with a mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts. N Engl J Med 2018; 378(25): e34., 12Castro-Barquero S, Tresserra-Rimbau A, Vitelli-Storelli F, et al. Dietary polyphenol intake is associated with hdl-cholesterol and a better profile of other components of the metabolic syndrome: A predimed-plus sub-study. Nutrients 2020; 12(3)].

Wade et al. [29Wade AT, Davis CR, Dyer KA, et al. A Mediterranean diet supplemented with dairy foods improves markers of cardiovascular risk: results from the MedDairy randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr 2018; 108(6): 1166-82.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqy207]
] in the MedDairy randomized controlled trial tested the effect of MD on cardiovascular risk factors among 41 people at risk of cardiovascular disease. Group on MD reported lower morning systolic blood pressure (mean difference: −1.6 mm Hg; −0.4 mm Hg; p = 0.01), diastolic one (mean difference: −1.0; 95%, −0.2 mm Hg; p = 0.01), significantly higher HDL cholesterol, lower triglycerides and lower ratio of total to HDL cholesterol (0.0001> p < 0.01). Arpón et al. [35Arpón A, Milagro FI, Razquin C, et al. Impact of Consuming Extra-Virgin Olive Oil or Nuts within a Mediterranean Diet on DNA Methylation in Peripheral White Blood Cells within the PREDIMED-Navarra Randomized Controlled Trial: A Role for Dietary Lipids. Nutrients 2017; 10(1)] explored methylation changes in genes of peripheral white blood cells (PWBCs) from participants in the PREDIMED-Navarra trial among 36 people with high cardiovascular risk addressed to two different dietary Mediterranean profiles. One of two methylated sites selected was associated with polyunsaturated fatty acids intake, showing a role for specific fatty acids on epigenetic modulation. They concluded that specific components of MD, particularly nuts and EVOO, may induce methylation changes in some specific PWBCs genes. Grimaldi et al. [36Grimaldi M, Ciano O, Manzo M, et al. Intensive dietary intervention promoting the Mediterranean diet in people with high cardiometabolic risk: a non-randomized study. Acta Diabetol 2018; 55(3): 219-26.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00592-017-1078-7] [PMID: 29218417]
] tested the efficacy and the drop-out rate of a 3-month dietary intervention based on MD (including a subgroup of diabetic patients) for body weight and cardiometabolic risk factors among 116 reporting CV risk. After the intervention, body weight decreased significantly in MD and control groups (p < 0.001) even if the intervention group showed a significant higher reduction in weight, plasma glucose, triglycerides and blood pressure and an increase in HDL cholesterol than the control group. Also, in the subgroup of participants with type-2 diabetes mellitus, there was a significant improvement in glycosylated haemoglobin levels with intensive intervention (p < 0.0001).

Guasch-Ferré et al [41Guasch-Ferré M, Salas-Salvadó J, Ros E, et al. The PREDIMED trial, Mediterranean diet and health outcomes: How strong is the evidence? Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 2017; 27(7): 624-32.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.numecd.2017.05.004] [PMID: 28684083]
] interpreted results from PREDIMED on health benefits of the MD among 7477 subjects with high cardiovascular risk. PREDIMED reported that MD reduces the incidence of major cardiovascular events by approximately 30%. Other benefits may include positive effects on metabolic syndrome, obesity, cognition, and breast cancer as well as a significant reduction by 30% of diabetes complications such as retinopathy. A reduction of 66% of peripheral arterial disease in the MD plus EVOO group and 50% reduction in the MD plus nuts as well as a reduction of 38% of atrial fibrillation risk during the MD plus EVOO have been reported.

Estruch et al. [44Estruch R, Martínez-González MA, Corella D, et al. Retracted: Effect of a high-fat Mediterranean diet on bodyweight and waist circumference: a prespecified secondary outcomes analysis of the PREDIMED randomised controlled trial. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol 2016; 4(8): 666-76.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2213-8587(16)30085-7] [PMID: 27283479]
] evaluated the long-term effects of high-fat diet versus high-vegetable-fat MD on weight and waist circumference among 7477 people at risk of cardiovascular disease recruited from PERDIMED- trial. After 5 years of observation, participants have shown a partial reduction of body weight and waist circumference: –0.43 kg bodyweight in the olive oil group (p=0.044) and –0.08 kg in the nut group (p=0.730); –0.55 cm of waist circumference in the olive oil group (p=0.048) and –0.94 cm (p=0,006) in the nut group. Also, Eguaras et al. [48Eguaras S, Toledo E, Buil-Cosiales P, et al. Does the Mediterranean diet counteract the adverse effects of abdominal adiposity? Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 2015; 25(6): 569-74.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.numecd.2015.03.001] [PMID: 25921850]
] confirmed that MD may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in 7477 subjects (PREDIMED) with a direct impact on abdominal obesity and central adiposity. This was confirmed by the evidence of a significant reduction of Body Mass Index (p= 0.01) and waist circumference (p =0.043) over the 5 years of follow-up.

Gomez-Delgado et al. [46Gomez-Delgado F, Garcia-Rios A, Alcala-Diaz JF, et al. Chronic consumption of a low-fat diet improves cardiometabolic risk factors according to the CLOCK gene in patients with coronary heart disease. Mol Nutr Food Res 2015; 59(12): 2556-64.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mnfr.201500375] [PMID: 26346429]
] examined the effect of two healthy dietary programs (MD with EVOO and low-fat diet) on the nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the CLOCK gene involved in the lipid metabolism and inflammation balance among 897 patients with a history of Chronic Hearth Disease. They observed a significant gene-diet interaction. Specifically, C/C allele carriers displayed a greater decrease in high sensitivity C-reactive protein (p < 0.001) and a significant increase in HDL/apolipoprotein A1 ratio (p = 0.029) than minor G allele carriers (G/G + C/G). Vázquez-Fresno et al. [51Vázquez-Fresno R, Llorach R, Urpi-Sarda M, et al. Metabolomic pattern analysis after mediterranean diet intervention in a nondiabetic population: a 1- and 3-year follow-up in the PREDIMED study. J Proteome Res 2015; 14(1): 531-40.] assessed the effect of an MD on urinary metabolites in a sample of 98 non-diabetic men and women with high cardiovascular risk at 1 and 3 years of follow-up, after an MD supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil (MD + EVOO) or nuts (MD + Nuts) versus control group with a low-fat diet (LFD). LFD-associated metabolites were hippurate and metabolites related to histidine metabolism, as well as xanthosine. MD groups showed a moderate association with metabolites related to a higher intake of fruit and vegetables. Furthermore, a significant but moderate association with meat intake urinary metabolites has been observed in the LFD group.

3.7. MD Effect in Patients Affected by type-2 Diabetes Mellitus

Alonso-Domínguez et al. [27Alonso-Domínguez R, García-Ortiz L, Patino-Alonso MC, et al. Effectiveness of a multifactorial intervention in increasing adherence to the mediterranean diet among patients with diabetes mellitus type 2: A controlled and randomized study (EMID Study). Nutrients 2019; 11(1): E162.] in the EMID- study (Effectiveness of a Multifactorial Intervention in Diabetics) evaluated the effectiveness of a multifactorial intervention in increasing adherence to the MD, the quality of diet and biomedical parameters after a 12-month follow-up period. The study involved 204 subjects with age ranging from 25- 70 years old affected by type-2 diabetes mellitus. Participants were randomized to the intervention group (GI) and the control group (CG), both receiving advice on a healthy diet and physical activity. They also joined some seminars, 5 healthy walks and had to use a smartphone app on diet and a healthy lifestyle for three months. At the 3-month follow-up, there was an improvement in adherence to the MD and quality of the diet in the GI. This trend was confirmed at 12-month of follow-up.

Di Onofrio et al. [30Di Onofrio V, Gallé F, Di Dio M, et al. Effects of nutrition motivational intervention in patients affected by type 2 diabetes mellitus: a longitudinal study in Naples, South Italy. BMC Public Health 2018; 18(1): 1181.] enrolled a total of 69 patients who joined a motivational program focused on MD, nutrient classes, distribution of meals during the day, and dietary choices. Clinical and metabolic parameters were also analyzed for evaluating the effect of the program. At the end of the intervention, the total daily consumption of kilocalories was reduced as well as the percentages of carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids. A significant improvement in systolic and diastolic blood pressure, BMI and waist circumference, as well as in blood glucose values was observed. This longitudinal study concluded that nutritional motivational interventions can be useful to improve eating habits, especially among patients affected by type 2 diabetes.

Monlezun et al. [47Monlezun DJ, Kasprowicz E, Tosh KW, et al. Medical school-based teaching kitchen improves HbA1c, blood pressure, and cholesterol for patients with type 2 diabetes: Results from a novel randomized controlled trial. Diabetes Res Clin Pract 2015; 109(2): 420-6.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.diabres.2015.05.007] [PMID: 26002686]
] provided medical school-based teaching about kitchen and MD - cooking for patients with type 2 diabetes by assigning patients between the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine group and the control group. Compared to the control group, the GCCM group had a greater reduction in glycosylated hemoglobin (-0.4%; p = 0.575) even if not statistically significant. There was a significant reduction in the GCCM group of DBP (p = 0.037) and total cholesterol (p = 0.044). This is considered to be the first known RCT that demonstrated improvements in biometrics using a new MD-based intervention for diabetic patients.

3.8. Effects of MD on Metabolic Syndrome

In the study by Gomez-Huelgas et al. [49Gomez-Huelgas R, Jansen-Chaparro S, Baca-Osorio AJ, Mancera-Romero J, Tinahones FJ, Bernal-López MR. Effects of a long-term lifestyle intervention program with Mediterranean diet and exercise for the management of patients with metabolic syndrome in a primary care setting. Eur J Intern Med 2015; 26(5): 317-23.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejim.2015.04.007] [PMID: 25907985]
], 601 subjects with metabolic syndrome received an intensive lifestyle intervention (LSI) based on instructions on MD and regular physical exercise. The primary outcome included the reduction from baseline of anthropometric parameters like abdominal circumference, blood pressure, HDL cholesterol, fasting plasma glucose, and triglycerides. At the end of the intervention, the LSI- group reported significant differences compared to the control group in the abdominal circumference, systolic pressure, diastolic pressure, and HDL cholesterol; there were no significant differences in the fasting plasma glucose concentration and triglycerides. In a small study of Cases et al. [50Regular consumption of Fiit-ns, a polyphenol extract from fruit and vegetables frequently consumed within the Mediterranean diet, improves metabolic ageing of obese volunteers: a randomized, double-blind, parallel trial. Int J Food Sci Nutr 2015; 66(1): 120-5.], 17 obese volunteers (BMI: 30.1–33.3) were recruited in a double-blind, randomized, parallel pilot study based on a 900 mg/day polyphenol-rich treatment with extracts from fruits and vegetables for 12 weeks. Anthropometric and blood parameters were assessed before and at the end of the intervention period. After 12 weeks, metabolic parameters and overall satisfaction of patients were improved. These data suggest that the daily supplement of polyphenols and MD improves metabolic balance and quality of life of obese volunteers.

3.9. MD and Risk of Cancer

Zuniga et al. [31Zuniga KE, Parma DL, Muñoz E, Spaniol M, Wargovich M, Ramirez AG. Dietary intervention among breast cancer survivors increased adherence to a Mediterranean-style, anti-inflammatory dietary pattern: the Rx for Better Breast Health Randomized Controlled Trial. Breast Cancer Res Treat 2019; 173(1): 145-54.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10549-018-4982-9] [PMID: 30259284]
] conducted a study based on interventions for improving adherence to an MD/ anti-inflammatory dietary model in breast cancer survivors (BCS). Overweight and obese BCS were randomized to the intervention group (n = 76) or control group (n = 77). The 6-month intervention included monthly seminars on food- selection and healthy-cooking, motivational phone calls. Control- group participants received monthly information brochures but no navigation services. Adherence to MD increased significantly in the intervention group over time, but not in the control group (+ 22.5% versus + 2.7%; p <0.001). Also, the intervention arm increased the use of spices and herbs compared to the control (+ 146.2% versus + 33.3%; p <0.001). This study may suggest that educational interventions in BCS lead to an increased adherence to Mediterranean-style dietary pattern, increasing the consumption of anti-inflammatory foods, with the reduction of pro-inflammatory foods selection.

Griffin et al. [25Griffin LE, Djuric Z, Angiletta CJ, et al. Mediterranean diet does not alter plasma trimethylamine N-oxide concentrations in healthy adults at risk for colon cancer. Food Funct 2019; 10(4): 2138-47.] tested the use of MD in reducing Trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) plasma concentrations among 115 healthy people at risk of colon cancer. Fasting TMAO concentrations were measured before and after 6 months of dietary intervention. No significant differences were found in plasma TMAO between the Mediterranean group and the healthy diet group. However, TMAO concentrations showed a positive correlation with age and metabolic markers. This finding may suggest that an extensive dietary intervention over 6 months may not be fully useful to reduce TMAO concentrations in a healthy population at risk of colon cancer.

Toledo et al. [45Toledo E, Salas-Salvadó J, Donat-Vargas C, et al. Mediterranean Diet and Invasive Breast Cancer Risk Among Women at High Cardiovascular Risk in the PREDIMED Trial: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Intern Med 2015; 175(11): 1752-60.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.4838] [PMID: 26365989]
] evaluated the combined effect of MD versus general nutritional advice on the incidence of breast cancer among 4282 women with high cardiovascular risk. After a 5-years period of follow-up, 35 confirmed cases of breast cancer were found with lower rate in the MD with extra-virgin olive oil group (1.1%; hazard ratio [HR] vs the control group 0.32 [95%CI, 0.13-0.79]) < MD with nuts group (1.8%; HR 0.59 [95% CI, 0.26-1.35Arpón A, Milagro FI, Razquin C, et al. Impact of Consuming Extra-Virgin Olive Oil or Nuts within a Mediterranean Diet on DNA Methylation in Peripheral White Blood Cells within the PREDIMED-Navarra Randomized Controlled Trial: A Role for Dietary Lipids. Nutrients 2017; 10(1)] < control group (2.9%).

3.10. MD and Mental Health

Parletta et al. [37Parletta N, Zarnowiecki D, Cho J, et al. A Mediterranean-style dietary intervention supplemented with fish oil improves diet quality and mental health in people with depression: A randomized controlled trial (HELFIMED). Nutr Neurosci 2019; 22(7): 474-87.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1028415X.2017.1411320] [PMID: 29215971]
] tested the effects of MD supplemented with fish oil on mental health among 152 people self-reporting depressive symptoms (30.9% males). The intervention group received MD-cooking workshops for 3 months and fish oil supplements for 6 months. 95 people completed assessments at 3-months and 85 people completed at 6-months. At 3 months, the MD group reported higher MD adherence (p < 0.01), consumed more vegetables (p < 0.01), fruit (p = 0.04), nuts (p = 0.02), legumes (p = 0.02) wholegrain (p = 0.01), and vegetable (p< 0.01); less unhealthy snacks (p = 0.04) and red meat/chicken (p = 0.04). The MD group also reported a greater reduction in depressive symptoms (p= 0.03) and improved mental health QoL (Quality of Life) scores (p= 0.04) at 3 months. Improved diet and mental health improvements were confirmed at 6 months. In addition, reduced depression was significantly correlated with an increased MD – adherence (p = 0.01), more consumption of nuts (p = 0.01), and vegetable (p= 0.01). Mental health (QoL) improvements significantly correlated with increased vegetable and legumes consumption. Also, some expected positive correlations between increased omega-3, decreased omega-6 and improved mental health were found.

Jacka et al. [43Jacka FN, O'Neil A, Opie R, et al. A randomised controlled trial of dietary improvement for adults with major depression (the 'SMILES' trial). BMC Med 2017; 15(1): 23.] investigated the efficacy of a dietary program based on MD for the treatment of symptoms related to major depressive episodes in 67 subjects (72% female) with Major Depressive Disorder (according to DSM-IV-R). MD group was compared to a social support control group, both observed for 12 weeks. The MD group demonstrated significantly greater improvement at Montgomery–Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) than the social support control group, (p < 0.001). Remission (defined as MADRS score <10) was obtained for 32.3% (intervention group; n = 10) and 8.0% (control group; n = 2) subjects respectively (p = 0.028); number needed to treat (NNT) based on remission scores was 4.

Both studies available seem to suggest significant benefits in employing MD-regimen among patients reporting depressive symptoms, in terms of reduction of symptoms over time and improved rates or remission.

4. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION

The main challenges in the study of the role of MD in health and mental health are related to the accurate assessment of exposure to dietary models, the heterogeneity of populations involved and the comparison between clinical and non-clinical conditions that could benefit from a dietary intervention [10Agarwal A, Ioannidis JPA. PREDIMED trial of Mediterranean diet: retracted, republished, still trusted? BMJ 2019; 7: 365-1341.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l341]
]. This mini-review aimed to synthesize the existing literature based on clinical trials, excluding review articles, case reports or study protocols, and report on findings regarding MD, physical health and mental health.

It is of note that MD has a confirmed role in improving metabolic as well as cardiovascular parameters with a reduced incidence of major cardiovascular events by approximately 30% [41Guasch-Ferré M, Salas-Salvadó J, Ros E, et al. The PREDIMED trial, Mediterranean diet and health outcomes: How strong is the evidence? Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 2017; 27(7): 624-32.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.numecd.2017.05.004] [PMID: 28684083]
]. MD also has benefits in improving metabolic balance in patients affected by type 2 diabetes mellitus [27Alonso-Domínguez R, García-Ortiz L, Patino-Alonso MC, et al. Effectiveness of a multifactorial intervention in increasing adherence to the mediterranean diet among patients with diabetes mellitus type 2: A controlled and randomized study (EMID Study). Nutrients 2019; 11(1): E162., 30Di Onofrio V, Gallé F, Di Dio M, et al. Effects of nutrition motivational intervention in patients affected by type 2 diabetes mellitus: a longitudinal study in Naples, South Italy. BMC Public Health 2018; 18(1): 1181.]. The improvement of biochemical markers has been documented for metabolic disorders as well as in patients at risk of specific cancer diseases [25Griffin LE, Djuric Z, Angiletta CJ, et al. Mediterranean diet does not alter plasma trimethylamine N-oxide concentrations in healthy adults at risk for colon cancer. Food Funct 2019; 10(4): 2138-47.]. Dietary regimens based on polyphenols, fibers, EVOO or nuts may greatly reduce oxidative biochemical processes on the base of metabolic, cardiovascular and cancer pathophysiology [2Davis C, Bryan J, Hodgson J, et al. Definition of the mediterranean diet; A literature review. Nutrients 2015; 7(11): 9139-53., 3Martínez-González MA, Sánchez-Villegas A. The emerging role of Mediterranean diets in cardiovascular epidemiology: monounsaturated fats, olive oil, red wine or the whole pattern? Eur J Epidemiol 2004; 19(1): 9-13.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/B:EJEP.0000013351.60227.7b] [PMID: 15012018]
, 5Bach-Faig A, Berry EM, Lairon D, et al. Mediterranean diet pyramid today. Science and cultural updates. Public Health Nutr 2011; 14(12A): 2274-84.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1368980011002515] [PMID: 22166184]
].

The role of diet, and in particular MD, in the development of mental disorders has become a recent research focus over the past decade [18Sánchez-Villegas A, Cabrera-Suárez B, Molero P, et al. Preventing the recurrence of depression with a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil. The PREDI-DEP trial: study protocol BMC Psychiatry 2019; 19(1): 63., 22Ventriglio A, Gentile A, Stella E, Bellomo A. Metabolic issues in patients affected by schizophrenia: clinical characteristics and medical management. Front Neurosci 2015; 9: 297-303.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2015.00297] [PMID: 26388714]
]. Even if the efficacy of dietary programs in the management of metabolic issues among patients affected by severe mental illness is well known and described [21Ventriglio A, Baldessarini RJ, Vitrani G, et al. Metabolic syndrome in psychotic disorder patients treated with oral and long-acting injected antipsychotics. Front Psychiatry 2019; 9: 744.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00744] [PMID: 30700975]
, 22Ventriglio A, Gentile A, Stella E, Bellomo A. Metabolic issues in patients affected by schizophrenia: clinical characteristics and medical management. Front Neurosci 2015; 9: 297-303.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2015.00297] [PMID: 26388714]
, 23Ventriglio A, Gentile A, Baldessarini RJ, et al. Improvements in metabolic abnormalities among overweight schizophrenia and bipolar disorder patients. Eur Psychiatry 2014; 29(7): 402-7.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eurpsy.2013.11.005] [PMID: 24439513]
], few data are available on the MD effects on specific psychopathological issues. Two recent clinical trials [37Parletta N, Zarnowiecki D, Cho J, et al. A Mediterranean-style dietary intervention supplemented with fish oil improves diet quality and mental health in people with depression: A randomized controlled trial (HELFIMED). Nutr Neurosci 2019; 22(7): 474-87.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1028415X.2017.1411320] [PMID: 29215971]
, 43Jacka FN, O'Neil A, Opie R, et al. A randomised controlled trial of dietary improvement for adults with major depression (the 'SMILES' trial). BMC Med 2017; 15(1): 23.] about MD and mental health showed positive findings on the improvement of depressive symptoms and remission rates under a healthy diet regimen. Also, in 2020, a review of literature based on 37 studies confirmed an association between polyphenols consumption and depression risk, as well as a reduction of depressive symptoms severity [52Bayes J, Schloss J, Sibbritt D. Effects of Polyphenols in a Mediterranean Diet on Symptoms of Depression: A Systematic Literature Review Adv Nutr 2020; 11(3): 602-15.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/advances/nmz117]
]. Besides, adherence to MD is a key factor for promoting outcome improvements in depressive patients, as suggested by an observational study reporting an inverse association between adherence and severity of symptoms as well as poor depressive outcomes among patients with comorbid overweight or metabolic syndrome [53García-Toro M, Vicens-Pons E, Gili M, et al. Obesity, metabolic syndrome and Mediterranean diet: Impact on depression outcome. J Affect Disord 2016; 194: 105-8.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2015.12.064] [PMID: 26807670]
].

This review suggests further studies to determine the role of diet, MD, specific nutrients, and dietary programs in the outcomes of physical diseases and mental disorders. These may also add evidence on the pathophysiology and treatment of illness in the framework of the Gene x Environment interaction. Specifically, focused experimental protocols should address the efficacy of diet as an adjunctive treatment for mental disorders as well as for the management of comorbid cardiovascular and metabolic issues [54O’Neil A, Berk M, Itsiopoulos C, et al. A randomised, controlled trial of a dietary intervention for adults with major depression (the “SMILES” trial): study protocol. BMC Psychiatry 2013; 13: 114.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-244X-13-114] [PMID: 23587364]
].

CONSENT FOR PUBLICATION

Not applicable.

FUNDING

None

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

The author declares no conflict of interest, financial or otherwise.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Declared none.

REFERENCES

[1] Morris L, Bhatnagar D. The Mediterranean diet. Curr Opin Lipidol 2016; 27(1): 89-91.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MOL.0000000000000266] [PMID: 26655296]
[2] Davis C, Bryan J, Hodgson J, et al. Definition of the mediterranean diet; A literature review. Nutrients 2015; 7(11): 9139-53.
[3] Martínez-González MA, Sánchez-Villegas A. The emerging role of Mediterranean diets in cardiovascular epidemiology: monounsaturated fats, olive oil, red wine or the whole pattern? Eur J Epidemiol 2004; 19(1): 9-13.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/B:EJEP.0000013351.60227.7b] [PMID: 15012018]
[4] Ministry of Health and Welfare, Supreme Scientific Health Council. Dietary Guidelines for Adults in Greece. Arch Hell Med 1999; 16: 516-24.
[5] Bach-Faig A, Berry EM, Lairon D, et al. Mediterranean diet pyramid today. Science and cultural updates. Public Health Nutr 2011; 14(12A): 2274-84.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1368980011002515] [PMID: 22166184]
[6] Mediterranean Diet Pyramid. Available online: http://oldwayspt.org/resources/heritage-pyramids/mediterranean-pyramid/overview
[7] Kromhout D, Keys A, Aravanis C, et al. Food consumption patterns in the 1960s in seven countries. Am J Clin Nutr 1989; 49(5): 889-94.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/49.5.889] [PMID: 2718924]
[8] Estruch R, Ros E, Salas-Salvadó J, et al. PREDIMED Study Investigators. Primary prevention of cardiovascular disease with a Mediterranean diet. N Engl J Med 2013; 368(14): 1279-90.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1200303] [PMID: 23432189]
[9] Martínez-González MA, Corella D, Salas-Salvadó J, et al. PREDIMED Study Investigators. Cohort profile: design and methods of the PREDIMED study. Int J Epidemiol 2012; 41(2): 377-85.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyq250] [PMID: 21172932]
[10] Agarwal A, Ioannidis JPA. PREDIMED trial of Mediterranean diet: retracted, republished, still trusted? BMJ 2019; 7: 365-1341.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l341]
[11] Estruch R, Ros E, Salas-Salvadó J, et al. PRedimed study primary prevention of cardiovascular disease with a mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts. N Engl J Med 2018; 378(25): e34.
[12] Castro-Barquero S, Tresserra-Rimbau A, Vitelli-Storelli F, et al. Dietary polyphenol intake is associated with hdl-cholesterol and a better profile of other components of the metabolic syndrome: A predimed-plus sub-study. Nutrients 2020; 12(3)
[13] Fuentes GC, Castañer O, Warnberg J, et al. Prospective association of physical activity and inflammatory biomarkers in older adults from the PREDIMED-Plus study with overweight or obesity and metabolic syndrome. Clin Nutr 2020; 3: S0261-5614.
[14] Sayón-Orea C, Razquin C, Bulló M, et al. Effect of a nutritional and behavioral intervention on energy-reduced mediterranean diet adherence among patients with metabolic syndrome: Interim analysis of the predimed-plus randomized clinical trial. JAMA 2019.
[15] Fernández-García JC, Muñoz-Garach A, Martínez-González MÁ, et al. Association between lifestyle and hypertriglyceridemic waist phenotype in the predimed-plus study. Obesity (Silver Spring) 2020; 28(3): 537-43.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/oby.22728] [PMID: 32090511]
[16] Daimiel L, Martínez-González MA, Corella D, et al. Physical fitness and physical activity association with cognitive function and quality of life: baseline cross-sectional analysis of the PREDIMED-Plus trial. Sci Rep 2020; 10(1): 3472.
[17] Galilea-Zabalza I, Buil-Cosiales P, Salas-Salvadó J, et al. Mediterranean diet and quality of life: Baseline cross-sectional analysis of the PREDIMED-PLUS trial. PLoS One 2018; 13(6): 0198974.
[18] Sánchez-Villegas A, Cabrera-Suárez B, Molero P, et al. Preventing the recurrence of depression with a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil. The PREDI-DEP trial: study protocol BMC Psychiatry 2019; 19(1): 63.
[19] Vicinanza R, Bersani FS, D'Ottavio E, et al. Adherence to Mediterranean diet moderates the association between multimorbidity and depressive symptoms in older adults. Arch Gerontol Geriatr 2020; 13(88): 104022.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.archger.2020.104022]
[20] Fond G, Young AH, Godin O, et al. Improving diet for psychiatric patients : High potential benefits and evidence for safety. J Affect Disord 2020; 265(265): 567-9.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2019.11.092] [PMID: 31757621]
[21] Ventriglio A, Baldessarini RJ, Vitrani G, et al. Metabolic syndrome in psychotic disorder patients treated with oral and long-acting injected antipsychotics. Front Psychiatry 2019; 9: 744.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00744] [PMID: 30700975]
[22] Ventriglio A, Gentile A, Stella E, Bellomo A. Metabolic issues in patients affected by schizophrenia: clinical characteristics and medical management. Front Neurosci 2015; 9: 297-303.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2015.00297] [PMID: 26388714]
[23] Ventriglio A, Gentile A, Baldessarini RJ, et al. Improvements in metabolic abnormalities among overweight schizophrenia and bipolar disorder patients. Eur Psychiatry 2014; 29(7): 402-7.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eurpsy.2013.11.005] [PMID: 24439513]
[24] Moher D, Liberati A, Tetzlaff J, Altman DG. Preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses: the PRISMA statement. PLoS Med 2009; 6(7)e1000097
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000097] [PMID: 19621072]
[25] Griffin LE, Djuric Z, Angiletta CJ, et al. Mediterranean diet does not alter plasma trimethylamine N-oxide concentrations in healthy adults at risk for colon cancer. Food Funct 2019; 10(4): 2138-47.
[26] Gonzalez-Sanchez J, Recio-Rodriguez JI, Fernandez-delRio A, et al. Using a smartphone app in changing cardiovascular risk factors: A randomized controlled trial (EVIDENT II study). Int J Med Inform 2019; 125: 13-21.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2019.02.004] [PMID: 30914176]
[27] Alonso-Domínguez R, García-Ortiz L, Patino-Alonso MC, et al. Effectiveness of a multifactorial intervention in increasing adherence to the mediterranean diet among patients with diabetes mellitus type 2: A controlled and randomized study (EMID Study). Nutrients 2019; 11(1): E162.
[28] Hurtado-Barroso S, Quifer-Rada P, Rinaldi de Alvarenga JF, et al. Changing to a low-polyphenol Diet alters vascular biomarkers in healthy men after only two weeks. Nutrients 2018; 14(10): 11.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu10111766]
[29] Wade AT, Davis CR, Dyer KA, et al. A Mediterranean diet supplemented with dairy foods improves markers of cardiovascular risk: results from the MedDairy randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr 2018; 108(6): 1166-82.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqy207]
[30] Di Onofrio V, Gallé F, Di Dio M, et al. Effects of nutrition motivational intervention in patients affected by type 2 diabetes mellitus: a longitudinal study in Naples, South Italy. BMC Public Health 2018; 18(1): 1181.
[31] Zuniga KE, Parma DL, Muñoz E, Spaniol M, Wargovich M, Ramirez AG. Dietary intervention among breast cancer survivors increased adherence to a Mediterranean-style, anti-inflammatory dietary pattern: the Rx for Better Breast Health Randomized Controlled Trial. Breast Cancer Res Treat 2019; 173(1): 145-54.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10549-018-4982-9] [PMID: 30259284]
[32] Grabovac I, Haider S, Winzer E, et al. Changes in health parameters in older lay volunteers who delivered a lifestyle-based program to frail older people at home. Wien Klin Wochenschr 2018; 130(21-22): 637-44.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00508-018-1372-6] [PMID: 30094663]
[33] Gómez SF, Casas Esteve R, Subirana I, et al. Effect of a community-based childhood obesity intervention program on changes in anthropometric variables, incidence of obesity, and lifestyle choices in Spanish children aged 8 to 10 years. Eur J Pediatr 2018; 177(10): 1531-9.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00431-018-3207-x] [PMID: 30027297]
[34] Jennings A, Cashman KD, Gillings R, et al. A Mediterranean-like dietary pattern with vitamin D3 (10 µg/d) supplements reduced the rate of bone loss in older Europeans with osteoporosis at baseline: results of a 1-y randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr 2018; 108(3): 633-40.
[35] Arpón A, Milagro FI, Razquin C, et al. Impact of Consuming Extra-Virgin Olive Oil or Nuts within a Mediterranean Diet on DNA Methylation in Peripheral White Blood Cells within the PREDIMED-Navarra Randomized Controlled Trial: A Role for Dietary Lipids. Nutrients 2017; 10(1)
[36] Grimaldi M, Ciano O, Manzo M, et al. Intensive dietary intervention promoting the Mediterranean diet in people with high cardiometabolic risk: a non-randomized study. Acta Diabetol 2018; 55(3): 219-26.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00592-017-1078-7] [PMID: 29218417]
[37] Parletta N, Zarnowiecki D, Cho J, et al. A Mediterranean-style dietary intervention supplemented with fish oil improves diet quality and mental health in people with depression: A randomized controlled trial (HELFIMED). Nutr Neurosci 2019; 22(7): 474-87.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1028415X.2017.1411320] [PMID: 29215971]
[38] Assaf-Balut C, García de la Torre N, Durán A, et al. A Mediterranean diet with additional extra virgin olive oil and pistachios reduces the incidence of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM): A randomized controlled trial: The St. Carlos GDM prevention study. PLoS One 2017; 12(10): e0185873.
[39] San-Cristobal R, Navas-Carretero S, Livingstone KM, et al. Mediterranean Diet Adherence and Genetic Background Roles within a Web-Based Nutritional Intervention: The Food4Me Study. Nutrients 2017; 9(10)E1107
[http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu9101107] [PMID: 29019927]
[40] Vignini A, Nanetti L, Raffaelli F, et al. Effect of 1-y oral supplementation with vitaminized olive oil on platelets from healthy postmenopausal women. Nutrition 2017; 42: 92-8.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2017.06.013] [PMID: 28870486]
[41] Guasch-Ferré M, Salas-Salvadó J, Ros E, et al. The PREDIMED trial, Mediterranean diet and health outcomes: How strong is the evidence? Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 2017; 27(7): 624-32.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.numecd.2017.05.004] [PMID: 28684083]
[42] Davis CR, Bryan J, Hodgson JM, Woodman R, Murphy KJ. A Mediterranean Diet Reduces F2-Isoprostanes and Triglycerides among Older Australian Men and Women after 6 Months. J Nutr 2017; 147(7): 1348-55.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.3945/jn.117.248419] [PMID: 28566524]
[43] Jacka FN, O'Neil A, Opie R, et al. A randomised controlled trial of dietary improvement for adults with major depression (the 'SMILES' trial). BMC Med 2017; 15(1): 23.
[44] Estruch R, Martínez-González MA, Corella D, et al. Retracted: Effect of a high-fat Mediterranean diet on bodyweight and waist circumference: a prespecified secondary outcomes analysis of the PREDIMED randomised controlled trial. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol 2016; 4(8): 666-76.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2213-8587(16)30085-7] [PMID: 27283479]
[45] Toledo E, Salas-Salvadó J, Donat-Vargas C, et al. Mediterranean Diet and Invasive Breast Cancer Risk Among Women at High Cardiovascular Risk in the PREDIMED Trial: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Intern Med 2015; 175(11): 1752-60.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.4838] [PMID: 26365989]
[46] Gomez-Delgado F, Garcia-Rios A, Alcala-Diaz JF, et al. Chronic consumption of a low-fat diet improves cardiometabolic risk factors according to the CLOCK gene in patients with coronary heart disease. Mol Nutr Food Res 2015; 59(12): 2556-64.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mnfr.201500375] [PMID: 26346429]
[47] Monlezun DJ, Kasprowicz E, Tosh KW, et al. Medical school-based teaching kitchen improves HbA1c, blood pressure, and cholesterol for patients with type 2 diabetes: Results from a novel randomized controlled trial. Diabetes Res Clin Pract 2015; 109(2): 420-6.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.diabres.2015.05.007] [PMID: 26002686]
[48] Eguaras S, Toledo E, Buil-Cosiales P, et al. Does the Mediterranean diet counteract the adverse effects of abdominal adiposity? Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 2015; 25(6): 569-74.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.numecd.2015.03.001] [PMID: 25921850]
[49] Gomez-Huelgas R, Jansen-Chaparro S, Baca-Osorio AJ, Mancera-Romero J, Tinahones FJ, Bernal-López MR. Effects of a long-term lifestyle intervention program with Mediterranean diet and exercise for the management of patients with metabolic syndrome in a primary care setting. Eur J Intern Med 2015; 26(5): 317-23.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejim.2015.04.007] [PMID: 25907985]
[50] Regular consumption of Fiit-ns, a polyphenol extract from fruit and vegetables frequently consumed within the Mediterranean diet, improves metabolic ageing of obese volunteers: a randomized, double-blind, parallel trial. Int J Food Sci Nutr 2015; 66(1): 120-5.
[51] Vázquez-Fresno R, Llorach R, Urpi-Sarda M, et al. Metabolomic pattern analysis after mediterranean diet intervention in a nondiabetic population: a 1- and 3-year follow-up in the PREDIMED study. J Proteome Res 2015; 14(1): 531-40.
[52] Bayes J, Schloss J, Sibbritt D. Effects of Polyphenols in a Mediterranean Diet on Symptoms of Depression: A Systematic Literature Review Adv Nutr 2020; 11(3): 602-15.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/advances/nmz117]
[53] García-Toro M, Vicens-Pons E, Gili M, et al. Obesity, metabolic syndrome and Mediterranean diet: Impact on depression outcome. J Affect Disord 2016; 194: 105-8.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2015.12.064] [PMID: 26807670]
[54] O’Neil A, Berk M, Itsiopoulos C, et al. A randomised, controlled trial of a dietary intervention for adults with major depression (the “SMILES” trial): study protocol. BMC Psychiatry 2013; 13: 114.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-244X-13-114] [PMID: 23587364]
Track Your Manuscript:


Endorsements



"Open access will revolutionize 21st century knowledge work and accelerate the diffusion of ideas and evidence that support just in time learning and the evolution of thinking in a number of disciplines."


Daniel Pesut
(Indiana University School of Nursing, USA)

"It is important that students and researchers from all over the world can have easy access to relevant, high-standard and timely scientific information. This is exactly what Open Access Journals provide and this is the reason why I support this endeavor."


Jacques Descotes
(Centre Antipoison-Centre de Pharmacovigilance, France)

"Publishing research articles is the key for future scientific progress. Open Access publishing is therefore of utmost importance for wider dissemination of information, and will help serving the best interest of the scientific community."


Patrice Talaga
(UCB S.A., Belgium)

"Open access journals are a novel concept in the medical literature. They offer accessible information to a wide variety of individuals, including physicians, medical students, clinical investigators, and the general public. They are an outstanding source of medical and scientific information."


Jeffrey M. Weinberg
(St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, USA)

"Open access journals are extremely useful for graduate students, investigators and all other interested persons to read important scientific articles and subscribe scientific journals. Indeed, the research articles span a wide range of area and of high quality. This is specially a must for researchers belonging to institutions with limited library facility and funding to subscribe scientific journals."


Debomoy K. Lahiri
(Indiana University School of Medicine, USA)

"Open access journals represent a major break-through in publishing. They provide easy access to the latest research on a wide variety of issues. Relevant and timely articles are made available in a fraction of the time taken by more conventional publishers. Articles are of uniformly high quality and written by the world's leading authorities."


Robert Looney
(Naval Postgraduate School, USA)

"Open access journals have transformed the way scientific data is published and disseminated: particularly, whilst ensuring a high quality standard and transparency in the editorial process, they have increased the access to the scientific literature by those researchers that have limited library support or that are working on small budgets."


Richard Reithinger
(Westat, USA)

"Not only do open access journals greatly improve the access to high quality information for scientists in the developing world, it also provides extra exposure for our papers."


J. Ferwerda
(University of Oxford, UK)

"Open Access 'Chemistry' Journals allow the dissemination of knowledge at your finger tips without paying for the scientific content."


Sean L. Kitson
(Almac Sciences, Northern Ireland)

"In principle, all scientific journals should have open access, as should be science itself. Open access journals are very helpful for students, researchers and the general public including people from institutions which do not have library or cannot afford to subscribe scientific journals. The articles are high standard and cover a wide area."


Hubert Wolterbeek
(Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands)

"The widest possible diffusion of information is critical for the advancement of science. In this perspective, open access journals are instrumental in fostering researches and achievements."


Alessandro Laviano
(Sapienza - University of Rome, Italy)

"Open access journals are very useful for all scientists as they can have quick information in the different fields of science."


Philippe Hernigou
(Paris University, France)

"There are many scientists who can not afford the rather expensive subscriptions to scientific journals. Open access journals offer a good alternative for free access to good quality scientific information."


Fidel Toldrá
(Instituto de Agroquimica y Tecnologia de Alimentos, Spain)

"Open access journals have become a fundamental tool for students, researchers, patients and the general public. Many people from institutions which do not have library or cannot afford to subscribe scientific journals benefit of them on a daily basis. The articles are among the best and cover most scientific areas."


M. Bendandi
(University Clinic of Navarre, Spain)

"These journals provide researchers with a platform for rapid, open access scientific communication. The articles are of high quality and broad scope."


Peter Chiba
(University of Vienna, Austria)

"Open access journals are probably one of the most important contributions to promote and diffuse science worldwide."


Jaime Sampaio
(University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal)

"Open access journals make up a new and rather revolutionary way to scientific publication. This option opens several quite interesting possibilities to disseminate openly and freely new knowledge and even to facilitate interpersonal communication among scientists."


Eduardo A. Castro
(INIFTA, Argentina)

"Open access journals are freely available online throughout the world, for you to read, download, copy, distribute, and use. The articles published in the open access journals are high quality and cover a wide range of fields."


Kenji Hashimoto
(Chiba University, Japan)

"Open Access journals offer an innovative and efficient way of publication for academics and professionals in a wide range of disciplines. The papers published are of high quality after rigorous peer review and they are Indexed in: major international databases. I read Open Access journals to keep abreast of the recent development in my field of study."


Daniel Shek
(Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)

"It is a modern trend for publishers to establish open access journals. Researchers, faculty members, and students will be greatly benefited by the new journals of Bentham Science Publishers Ltd. in this category."


Jih Ru Hwu
(National Central University, Taiwan)


Browse Contents




Webmaster Contact: info@benthamopen.net
Copyright © 2020 Bentham Open