Topol: 'Evidence Is Compelling' on Mediterranean Diet


March 07, 2013

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Mediterranean Diet Study

Hello. I am Dr. Eric Topol, Editor-in-Chief of Medscape. I am thrilled to be the new editor-in-chief; this is an extraordinary way for information to be disseminated to the medical community, and I am hoping to contribute with all the staff and our physician colleagues working around the globe to take Medscape to an "über level."

In this brief segment today, I will talk about the Mediterranean diet study. This is a study that was published in the February 25 New England Journal of Medicine.[1] I will try to get some commentary, either from myself or other colleagues, about really important studies, and I believe that this is one of them.

We don't talk enough about diet in medicine, but this is the largest randomized trial to date. The Mediterranean diet has been studied previously in randomized trials but not in a trial as large as this. It is fascinating that this was a study of more than 7400 individuals who were randomly assigned to 3 different diets. Two were Mediterranean diets enriched with either extra-virgin olive oil or nuts and other Mediterranean foods, both including more than 7 glasses of wine per week. The control diet was a low-fat diet, which some people have argued is not an ideal control. There was very good compliance with the diets in this large number of people for many years. The primary endpoint was death, heart attack, or stroke. There was a very important significant reduction of this cluster endpoint in the Mediterranean diet groups. Particularly noteworthy, even by itself, was the reduction in stroke.