Mediterranean diet may protect women against blindness and breast cancer

Barcelona (CNA).- Two new research projects which form part of the study group PREDIMED (Prevention with Mediterranean Diet) have endorsed the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet. One of them, published in the journal ‘Diabetes Care’, coordinated by the Catalan University, Rovira i Virgili (URV), concluded that the Mediterranean diet supplemented with olive oil reduces the risk of diabetic patients suffering from retinopathy, the leading cause of blindness amongst these patients, by 44%. The Mediterranean diet was associated with a 68% relative reduction in the risk of breast cancer according to the study, published in the journal ‘JAMA Internal Medicine’. This study was coordinated by the University of Navarra and researchers from URV also participated.

The possibility of chronic complications is a major concern for people with diabetes, who know that an increase in blood sugar causes blood vessels to clog up, making it difficult for blood to flow to certain organs and thus potentially causing organs to lose their functions. Microvascular complications often affect the eyes and the kidneys and result in diabetic retinopathy, eye affectations that can lead to blindness, or diabetic nephropathy which can lead to kidney failure.
Significant reduced risk of blindness for diabetics
3,614 men and women aged between 55 and 80 years voluntarily participated in the PREDIMED study which was carried out to evaluate the importance of the Mediterranean diet for cardiovascular prevention. The average profile of the participants was a person of 67 years with type 2 diabetes.
The participants were divided into three groups and were assigned at random to one of three dietary interventions: tips to follow a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil, advice to follow a Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts and a control group to follow a low-fat diet.
During six years of observation, 74 new cases of retinopathy were identified and 168 cases of diabetic nephropathy. Regarding retinopathy significant differences between those who had and those who had not followed the Mediterranean diet were found. Thus the results of the work concluded that the Mediterranean diet supplemented with olive oil reduces the risk of retinopathy in patients with diabetes, the leading cause of blindness among patients, by 44%. Those who supplemented their diet with nuts had an insignificant reduction in risk (37%) compared to those who had eaten a low-fat diet……..
Source: Catalan News Agency