Mediterranean diet improves the life expectancy of the elderly

by Antonios Miliarakis

According to a study conducted by researchers, published in the British Medical Journal, Mediterranean diet can alter the gut microbiome in older people improving brain function aiding in longevity.

The study analyzed the gut microbiome of 612 non-frail or pre-frail elderly people across five European countries, putting 323 of them on a NU-AGE MedDiet for 12 months.

At the end of the year, people following the diet saw beneficial changes to the microbiome in their digestive system. Moreover, higher adherence to the diet has been shown to reduce the rate of bone loss in individuals with osteoporosis and to improve innate immune function, blood pressure and arterial stiffness.

While the diet was designed for the elderly, it was based on the Mediterranean principles of increased consumption of vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, olive oil and fish and low consumption of red meat, dairy products and saturated fats.

Collectively, their findings support the feasibility of improving the habitual diet to modulate the gut microbiota which in turn has the potential to promote healthier ageing.