Mediterranean diets 'can help to protect older people against frailty'

Scientific Developments/Breakthroughs

Older people could potentially reduce their risk of becoming physically frail by following a Mediterranean diet, according to a new study.

A team from University College London has analysed evidence from all published studies examining associations between Mediterranean diets and the development of frailty in older individuals, with the analysis including data from 5,789 people in France, Spain, Italy and China.

“Following a Mediterranean diet may be an effective means of reducing the risk of frailty in older individuals, according to a new study.“

It was shown that people who ate the most Mediterranean-style diets were less than half as likely to become frail over a four-year period compared to those who followed the guidelines least closely.

Specifically, Mediterranean-style foods - including fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts - may help older individuals maintain muscle strength, activity, weight and energy levels.

Study leader Dr Gotaro Kojima of University College London said: "Our study supports the growing body of evidence on the potential health benefits of a Mediterranean diet, in our case for potentially helping older people to stay well as they age."

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