Poster Topical Area: Aging and Chronic Disease
Poster Board Number: 118
Objectives: The Mediterranean diet offers a range of health benefits but may not meet the calcium requirements of many Western populations. Our research aimed to determine whether a Mediterranean diet with additional dairy foods could improve cardiovascular health and cognitive function in an Australian sample at risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Methods: A randomised controlled trial employed a crossover design to compare a Mediterranean diet supplemented with dairy foods (MedDairy) against a low-fat (LF) control diet. Forty participants with systolic blood pressure (SBP) above 120 mm Hg and at least two other risk factors of CVD followed each diet for eight weeks, with an eight-week washout period between interventions. Home SBP was the primary outcome. Secondary outcomes included measures of cardiometabolic health, dietary compliance, cognitive function and psychological well-being.
Results: The MedDairy intervention lead to a significant increase in calcium intake (mean difference = 25.9 mg/MJ/day, 95% C.I. 12.6, 39.2, p<0.001) while improving morning home SBP (mean difference = -1.8 mm Hg, 95% C.I. -3.0, -0.5, p=0.01), clinic SBP (mean difference = -3.7 mm Hg, 95% C.I. -6.6, -0.7, p=0.02) and afternoon heart rate (mean difference = -1.3 bpm, 95% C.I. -2.3, -0.3, p=<0.01). No effects were observed for home afternoon or evening SBP, insulin, glucose or CRP. At the end of 8 weeks there was an effect of diet on HDL (mean difference = 0.1 mmol/L, 95% C.I. 0.04, 0.2, p=<0.001) and total cholesterol to HDL ratio (mean difference = -0.4, 95% C.I. -0.6, -0.2, p=<0.001), but not total cholesterol, triglycerides or LDL. While diet did not affect cognitive function, improvements were observed for measures of mood, including Total Mood Disturbance (mean difference = -8.0, 95% C.I. -15.5, -0.5, p=0.04).
Conclusions: Our study indicates that a Mediterranean diet can be modified to meet the higher calcium needs of non-Mediterranean populations while providing cardiometabolic and psychological benefits to individuals who may be at risk of CVD.
This trial was funded by a competitve research grant from Dairy Australia.
University of South Australia
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia