Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Access

Mediterranean diet and longevity

  • A. Trichopoulou (a1) and E. Vasilopoulou (a1)
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1079/09658219738855
  • Published online: 09 March 2007
Abstract

Mortality statistics from the WHO database covering the period 1960 to 1990 have provided intriguing evidence that something unusual has been affecting in a beneficial way the health of the Mediterranean population. In recent papers, which evaluated the evidence accumulated over the last three decades, it was concluded that the traditional Mediterranean diet meets several important criteria for a healthy diet. Direct evidence in support of the beneficial properties of the Mediterranean diet has also become available. These data were derived from three studies, which have used a diet score, devised a priori on the basis of eight desirable key features of the traditional common diet in the Mediterranean region. The conclusion of these studies is that a diet that adheres to the principles of the traditional Mediterranean one is associated with longer survival. The Greek version of the Mediterranean diet is dominated by the consumption of olive oil and by high consumption of vegetables and fruits. Antioxidants represent a common element in these foods and an antioxidant action provides a plausible explanation for the apparent benefits. Wild edible greens frequently eaten in rural Greece in the form of salads and pies contain very high quantities of flavonoids — considerably higher than those found in red wine or black tea. While there is no direct evidence that these antioxidants are central to the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet, indirect evidence from epidemiological data and the increasing understanding of their mechanisms of action suggest that antioxidants may play a major role.

    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Mediterranean diet and longevity
      Your Kindle email address
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Mediterranean diet and longevity
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Mediterranean diet and longevity
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: A.Trichopoulou, Dept of Hygiene and Epidemiology, University of Athens, Medical School, Mikras Asias 75, Athens 115 27, Greece, tel +301 7488 042, fax +301 7488 902, email antonia@nut.uoa.gr
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

C Byrd-bredbenner , P Lagiou & A Trichopoulou (2000) A comparison of household food availability in 11 countries. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics 13, 197204.

N Crozier , MEJ Lean , MS Mcdonald & C Black (1997) Quantitative analysis of the flavonoid content of commercial tomatoes, onions, lettuce, and celery. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 45, 590595.

MGL Hertog , PCH Hollman & MB Katan (1992) Content of potentially anticarcinogenic flavonoids of 28 vegetables and 9 fruits commonly consumed in the Netherlands. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 40, 23792383.

MGL Hertog , PCH Hollman & B van de putte (1993) Content of potentially anticarcinogenic flavonoids of tea infusions, wines, and fruit juices. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 41, 12421246.

U Justesen , P Knuthsen & T Leth (1998) Quantative analysis of flavonols, flavones, and flavanones in fruits, vegetables and beverages by high-performance liquid chromatography with photo-diode array and mass spectrometric detection. Journal of Chromatography A 799, 101110.

A Keys (1980) Seven Countries: A Multivariate Analysis of Death and Coronary Heart Disease. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press

C Lionis , A Fatesjo , M Skoula , M Kapsokefalou &T Faresjo (1998) Antioxidant effects of herbs in Crete. Lancet 352, 19871988.

M Osler & M Schroll (1997) Diet and mortality in a cohort of elderly people in a north European community. International Journal of Epidemiology 26, 155159.

A Trichopoulou , A Kouris-blazos , ML Wahlqvist , Ch Gnardellis , P Lagiou , E Polychronopoulos , T Vassilakou , L Lipworth & D Trichopoulos (1995 a) Diet and overall survival in elderly people. British Medical Journal 311, 14571460.

A Trichopoulou & P Lagiou (1997 a) Healthy traditional Mediterranean diet: an expression of culture, history and lifestyle. Nutrition Reviews 55, 383389.

A Trichopoulou , E Vasilopoulou , P Hollman , Ch Chamalides , E Foufa , Tr Kaloudis , D Kromhout , Ph Miskaki , I Petrochilou , E Poulima , K Stafilakis & D Theophilou (2000) Nutritional composition and flavonoid content of edible wild greens and green pies: a potential rich source of antioxidant nutrients in the Mediterranean diet. Food Chemistry 70, 319323.

F Visioli & C Galli (1998) The effect of minor constituents of olive oil on cardiovascular disease: new findings. Nutrition Reviews 56, 142147.

WC Willett (1994) Diet and health: what we should eat? Science 264, 532537.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

British Journal of Nutrition
  • ISSN: 0007-1145
  • EISSN: 1475-2662
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords: