Mediterranean diet could thwart seniors from weakening, study reveals

  • A Mediterranean-style diet can make older people feel healthy as they get older.
  • This diet may curb the chance for gut microbiome bacteria to multiply and possibly facilitate bacterial growth which may lower risks of becoming weak.
  • Weak seniors may experience deteriorated muscle mass and thinking skills triggered chronic diseases like diabetes, accumulated arteries’ plaque, and swelling.  

Scientists discovered that turning to a Mediterranean-style diet can help seniors feel healthy as they get older.

About 612 seniors with ages 65 to 79 years old from five European nations, who were either strong, feeble or at the edge of the condition, were closely monitored in the study.

Photo by CNN

Based on the paper published in the journal Gut, the subjects were told to follow the regimen for a year which consists of high levels of vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, olive oil and fish, a little amount of red meat, dairy products, and marinated fats.

Considering this diet, the American Heart Association encourages people to consume foods rich in fibers, vitamins, carbohydrates, plant proteins and polyunsaturated fats from fish which can lower blood cholesterol levels when consumed in moderation.

The research further disclosed that the diet may curb the chance for gut microbiome bacteria—the population of bugs in our digestive systems—to multiply and may possibly facilitate bacterial growth which may lower risks of getting weak.

Photo by medical news today

Allegedly, weak older people experience deteriorated muscle mass and thinking skills, triggered chronic diseases like diabetes, accumulated arteries’ plaque and swelling.

The authors of the research said that the result backs the possibility of enhancing regular diet to limit the gut microbiota, a potential factor that stimulates healthier aging.

“What we did not know was that consuming this diet changes our internal microbial ecosystem—the gut microbiome—and that is it probably this that makes the diet work,” revealed Professor Paul O’Toole who also co-authored the study.

He also told Newsweek that the way healthy food ingredients are transformed into helpful metabolites by the bacterial community in the gut makes the diet effective.

Photo by Cooking Light

“We had tried previously to improve the microbiome and health of older people in a small cohort in Ireland, by supplementing their diet with 20 grams fibre per day, but the effects were moderate. So we needed to try something more drastic,” clarified O’Toole who also heads the school of microbiology at the University College Cork, Ireland.

Surprisingly, the diet influenced participating dieters and the same bacteria reacted even if the nature of their gut bacteria was ‘different’ at the beginning of the research.

O’Toole noted that the microbiome’s impact was small “but presumably accumulated over time” and the ‘fragility rate’ over the trial year decelerated. 

Source: News Week


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