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Sports Medicine Blog


Information shared here is not intended to be a substitute for professional or medical advice on personal health matters. For personal medical advice, or if you are concerned about a medical condition or injury, please see your healthcare provider for evaluation and care.

  1. Mediterranean Diet and Cardiovascular Events in Women

    Mediterranean Diet associated with fewer cardiovascular events in middle aged women, according to a study published online December 7, 2018 in the JAMA Network. 25,994 US women in the Women’s Health Study were evaluated and then followed for 12 years. Those who adhered closest to the Mediterranean Diet, a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, whole grains, with some chicken and fish, and low in red meat and dairy products, had about a 25% lower relative risk of cardiovascular events than those who adhered the least. The researchers found that the causes were most likely reduced overall inflammation, lowered blood glucose and increased insulin sensitivity, as well as reduced body mass index. Blood pressure was also somewhat lowered, and the lipid profiles were also improved. This compares favorably with the risk reduction seen with statins.

    https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jam...rticle/2717565

    Posted by Jessica Seaton
  2. Better Diet, Better Brain

    A study published in June 2018, The Rotterdam Study, showed that a better quality diet is related to larger brain tissue. This can have an impact on an aging brain and the risk for dementia. Brains do tend to shrink with age. However, a diet high in vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts, dairy, and fish and a low intake of sugar-containing beverages was associated with larger brain volumes.
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  3. Nuts and Cardiovascular Disease

    by , January 29th, 2016 at 05:19 PM (Sports Medicine Blog)
    A meta-analysis of 61 trials performed by Tufts researchers in Boston found that tree nut intake lowers total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and another cardiovascular disease marker, ApoB. The trials examined lasted from 3 to 26 weeks. Interestingly, they found that the nut type was less important than the quantity of nuts consumed. More was better with stronger effects being noted for those consuming more than 60 grams per day of nuts. Nuts are high in calories, so adding a lot of nuts to your diet could also add on weight, unless you consume fewer calories elsewhere.

    Link to abstract: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/10...47.short?rss=1

    Jessica Seaton
  4. Mediterranean Diet and Breast Cancer

    by , January 25th, 2016 at 06:43 PM (Sports Medicine Blog)
    A study published in the September 14, 2015 edition of JAMA Internal Medicine examined the data from the PREDIMED study that examined diet and risk for cardiovascular disease. In this secondary analysis, the researchers looked to see what effect two different dietary interventions would have on the incidence of breast cancer. The two intervention groups were advised to eat a Mediterranean style diet: high in vegetables, fruits, fish, and olive oil. One group was given a liter of extra virgin olive oil per week to use and share with their families. Another group was given a daily supply of nuts: 15 g walnuts, 7.5 grams almonds, 7.5 grams hazelnuts. The control group was advised to follow a low fat diet. Compared with the control group, the Mediterranean diet with extra virgin olive oil had a 68% reduction in breast cancer incidence. There was also a reduction in the nuts group, but not statistically significant. Limitations of the study included a lack of universal screening for breast cancer prior to the study, the small number of women who did get breast cancer, and the fact that all the women were while, postmenopausal, and at high risk for cardiovascular disease. Previously the researchers did show that this diet did reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease. There doesn’t seem to be a down-side to eating a Mediterranean type diet rich in olive oil—whether to prevent heart disease or to prevent breast cancer.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0914092837.htm

    Jessica Seaton
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  5. More Diet and Cognitive Function

    by , November 13th, 2015 at 07:45 PM (Sports Medicine Blog)
    Diet and Cognitive Function

    The August 12, 2015 edition of Nutrients (open access) had an interesting review article on diet and cognitive deficits. Here are some of the points I found most interesting:
    The reviewers found that mid-life BMI could be more important in predicting a decline in cognitive functioning than late life BMI. Low BMI is often associated with illness, so it’s much harder to tease out the effect of BMI in late life.
    Obesity is associated with systemic inflammation, metabolic syndrome, and reduced cardiovascular fitness. Any of these conditions affect cognition.
    Some studies have shown that a diet high in fat and refined sugars is correlated with impaired hippocampal function and the associated impaired memory. Interestingly, this impairment also reduces sensitivity to internal signals of hunger, which in turn promotes overeating and obesity.
    Other studies looked at the types of fats that people were eating. Some studies show that higher intake of saturated fatty acid is associated with impaired memory. Other studies show that a higher omega-3 to omega-6 polyunsaturated fat ratio was associated with a lower risk of cognitive decline. That would be a diet rich in fish and nuts and seeds and lower in meat and poultry.
    High intake of simple sugar has also been associated with lower cognitive function. Sugar can increase inflammation in the body and brain.
    Long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) may help reduce the risk for cognitive decline. Studies have gone both ways, showing benefit and no benefit. When compared to animal studies, animals were supplemented for more than 10% of their (short) lifespan. For humans this would mean supplementing for more than 6-8 years for an effect to be noticed. So the time to start would be in midlife.
    Curcumin, the active ingredient in the Indian spice turmeric, has also been shown to be helpful in preventing cognitive decline, although much more research in this area needs to be done. Curcumin is sold in supplement form. However, when buying curcumin, it is important to note that absorption can be an issue. There are now various products on the market that improve absorption over eating it raw or as a spice in food.