Sticking to a NU-AGE Mediterranean style diet might slow down aging a new European study finds. Researchers presented finings at a recent conference in Brussels that the diet significantly decreased the levels of C-reactive protein, an inflammatory protein linked with the aging process.
Another positive effect of the diet: the rate of bone loss in people with osteoporosis was reduced.
Other parameters such as insulin sensitivity, cardiovascular health, digestive health and quality of life have yet to be analyzed.
A new personally tailored, Mediterranean style diet was given to volunteers to assess if it could slow down the aging process. The project was conducted in five European countries: France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and the UK and involved 1142 participants. Volunteers from five countries differed in genetics, body composition, compliance to the study, response to diet, blood measurements and inflammatory parameters.
NU-AGE's researchers also looked at socio-economic factors of food choices and health information as well as the most significant barriers to the improvement of the quality of a diet.
As with biological markers, considerable country differences were seen when comparing several aspects, for instance on the overall nutrition knowledge. In France and the UK, over 70% of participants thought they had high nutrition knowledge while in Poland only 31% believed so.
Also, when elderly people buy food products, there were country differences in the attitudes towards nutrition information on the food labels (what is important for a person from Poland, may not be as important for a person from Italy).
In addition, participants from different countries understand and trust nutrition claims differently. Participants from the Netherlands and the UK appeared to understand nutrition claims better than participants from France, followed by those from Poland and Italy. In terms of trust, over 40% of Italian participants thought that nutrition claims on food products are reliable, while only 20% of British participants had the same opinion (on reliability of these claims). No differences were observed in nutrition knowledge between men and women.
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