Mediterranean Diet May Help Reduce Risk of Frailty Later in Life
The Mediterranean diet is characterized by high amounts of vegetables, legumes, cereals, fish, fruits and nuts, healthy mono-saturated fats like olive oil, low amounts of saturated fats, moderate alcohol intake, and low intake of meat and dairy products. A recent study suggests that following the Mediterranean diet may help reduce the risk of frailty in later years.
Frailty is common among older people. Frail older adults often feel low in energy and have weight loss and weak muscle strength. They are also more likely to suffer from falls, fractures, hospitalization, nursing home placement, disability, dementia and premature death.
For their analysis, researchers examined data from four studies that included 5,789 people from France, Spain, Italy, and China. They found that people who followed this diet were half as likely to become frail over a four-year period when compared with people who did not follow it. They also found that following the Mediterranean diet might help people maintain muscle strength, activity, weight, and energy levels.
Researchers from University College London conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on January 11, 2018, in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
Previous research has shown that the Mediterranean diet and other similar diets may improve heart health, lower the risk of diabetes, asthma, lower rates of obesity and possibly even decrease the overall risk of mortality.