New scientific studies have shown more benefits to the Mediterranean diet And they have shown that it not only helps you lose weight, but also induces changes in gut health.
Researchers have shown that an intervention to increase adherence to the Mediterranean diet and an intensive weight loss program produce very beneficial changes in the gut microbiota after just one year. They have been verified by researchers from the Center for Biomedical Research on Obesity and Nutrition Network (Ciberobn) -of the Carlos III Health Institute-, the Rovira i Virgili University (URV) and the Virgen de la Victoria Hospital (University of Malaga) and its Results are published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Intestinal bacteria are the tiny living organisms in the large intestine of human beings, which have been recognized as important in maintaining good health, especially intestinal health, research centers have recalled.
The work has been carried out within the framework of the ‘PREDIMED-Plus’ study in which a group of participants followed a Mediterranean diet with energy restriction, physical activity, and behavior changes, and another group of participants followed a Mediterranean diet without caloric restriction, without any weight loss pattern. The results of the study were that the participants who followed the Mediterranean diet and physical activity recommendations lost more weight (4.2 kilos) than the participants who followed the unrestricted Mediterranean diet, who lost 0.2 kilos.
The beneficial effects of following a healthy diet such as the Mediterranean are already well known, but scientists have observed that most previous studies have focused solely on the effects of diet or physical activity on the individual gut microbiota.
The new study has investigated the Mediterranean diet with a different approach, and have verified in this way that the participants who followed the Mediterranean diet with calorie restriction lost more weight and reduced body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, or blood sugar levels. They also reduced triglycerides and improved “good” cholesterol levels compared to the other group who followed a Mediterranean diet without any guidelines for weight loss.
The researchers have explained that “curiously” the two groups increased adherence to the Mediterranean diet, which was observed with some consistent changes in microbial genera that have previously been associated with the consumption of the Mediterranean diet. The increase in “good” microbial genera was also positively associated with the Mediterranean diet score in the general population.
The principal investigator of the CIBEROBN and of the University of Malaga, Francisco J Tinahones has explained in the note that the research centers have spread today that “the Mediterranean diet has shown to have prebiotic capacity, modifying in a favorable way the bacteria of our intestine ”. And Jordi Salas, principal investigator of the CIBEROBN and the Rovira i Virgili University, has specified that “previous studies have been carried out of the changes in the microbiota with the Mediterranean diet, but this is the first to compare the Mediterranean diet with another Mediterranean diet but hypocaloric producing a loss of weight ”.
The researchers have stressed that future studies are needed to reproduce these results and delineate the mechanisms by which changes in the gut microbiota may have beneficial effects on the regulation of body weight and cardiovascular risk.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.