A study of older adults by researchers in Italy suggests that the recipe for a longer life is to follow a Mediterranean diet.
Many studies have already hailed the benefits to health and longevity of the Mediterranean diet, but few have focused on older people.
The new research has come from the I.R.C.C.S. Neuromed Mediterranean Neurological Institute in Italy and comprises two parts.
The first is a study that followed 5,200 people aged 65 and older for approximately 8 years.
The second is an analysis that added data from several other studies, bringing the total of older individuals evaluated to 12,000.
First study author Marialaura Bonaccio, an epidemiologist at I.R.C.C.S. Neuromed, explains that while they knew “that the Mediterranean diet is able to reduce the risk of mortality in the general population,” they did not know whether this might also be the case for older people “specifically.”
She and her colleagues also observed that there was a “dose-response” relationship between diet and survival in seniors: the closer the diet was to a Mediterranean one, the longer the survival.
The findings support the idea that adopting or continuing with a Mediterranean diet could help older people “maximize their prospects for survival,” they conclude.