Mediterranean diet impacts the genetic risk of stroke

FOOD HABITS are known to be critical determinants of cardiovascular disease (CVD) at both an individual and a population level.

The effects of a gene-diet interaction on cardiovascular disease however is less well understood.

A new study, published online in Diabetes Care, suggests a particular gene that predicts type 2 diabetes risk appears to interact with a Mediterranean diet pattern to prevent stroke.

Researchers set out to investigate whether genetics contributed to the cardiovascular benefits seen in the Prevención con Dieta Mediterránea (PREDIMED) Trial.

The randomised, controlled trial enrolled more than 7,000 men and women and monitored them for cardiovascular disease, stroke and heart attack for almost five years.

Participants were assigned to either a Mediterranean diet of fish and complex carbohydrates enriched with olive oil and mixed nuts, or a low fat control diet.

The study examined the linkages between nutrition and genetic function and the impact on human health, particularly chronic disease.

It is the first study to identify a gene-diet interaction affecting stroke in a nutrition intervention trial on this scale.

The study’s senior author, Jose M. Ordovas, Director of the Nutrition and Genomics Laboratory at Tufts University, said the PREDIMED study design provides stronger results than ever before.

The ability to examine the relationship between genetics, diet and life threatening cardiac events now opens exciting new possibilities.

Amongst these, is the potential for developing genetic tests to screen people who may reduce or even prevent their risk of chronic disease by making meaningful changes to the way they eat.

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Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.