The study was carried out among 9,677 participants of the ‘SUN’ Project
Experts have analyzed the benefits of proper nutrition
There is “a great room for improvement ahead, also in the pandemic”
Greater adherence to the Mediterranean diet might reduce the risk of contagion of COVID-19 up to 64 percent in people who follow it best, according to a study by the University of Navarra carried out among 9,677 participants of the ‘SUN’ Project (Monitoring University of Navarra) and published in the journal ‘Clinical Nutrition’.
The benefits of proper nutrition owns for him immune system they made hope that the Mediterranean diet protects from infection by SARS-CoV-2; however, it is the the first time in the world that an epidemiological investigation describes it.
The researcher Rafael Pérez Araluce, graduated in Pharmacy and Nutrition from the University of Navarra, and Dr. Silvia Carlos, vice dean of students of the same Faculty, also a professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health of the Faculty of Medicine, have been the main authors of the work, together with researchers from CIBEROBN, such as Professor Miguel Ángel Martínez-González.
The doctor Carlos explains that, to carry out the study, participants who had a medical diagnosis of infection were identified next to positive results in diagnostic tests for COVID-19 from February to December 2020. “Health professionals were excluded, given the high exposure to infection that they unfortunately had had. If we had included them, the results would have been distorted and no health recommendations could be obtained public for the total population, “he says.
Trichopolou measurement index: less meat, more vegetables and moderate alcohol
The eating habits of the participants I know they evaluated through a adherence score of 0 to 9 to the Mediterranean diet, according to the ‘Trichopoulou score’, “a nine-item index established by the professor at the University of Athens Antonia Trichopoulou, known as the mother of the Mediterranean diet”, explains Dr. Carlos.
“Ten-year follow-up of these participants of the SUN Project is what allowed us a few months ago to analyze the hypothesis of whether adherence to the Mediterranean diet could protect against SARS-CoV-2 infection “, Explain. “We were able to observe that participants with intermediate adherence (= 4 and <7) had a significantly lower probability of developing COVID-19 than those with low adherence; on the other hand, those with higher adherence (= 7) had the lowest risk , compared to those participants with 3 or less points, "he says.
Adherence to this pattern in the system developed by Trichopoulou is measured according to the existence of a higher proportion of monounsaturated fats (coming mainly from olive oil), fruits and nuts, vegetables, legumes, cereals and fish; and one lower meat and dairy intake; as well as a moderate alcohol consumption.
Dr. Carlos testifies that these are important results, “for a matter of Public Health”, as it is the first time in a prospective study of this magnitude that a healthy eating pattern has been seen to prevent COVID-19. For this reason, he declares that “this scientific evidence must reach the greatest number of people.” “If not, our research does not make sense, because we work to try to improve people’s lives “, aim. These results show, according to the expert, that on a personal level there is “a great margin for improvement ahead, also in the pandemic.”
“It is often thought that living in a Mediterranean area involves, almost by default, following the eating pattern that bears its name, but this is not always the case,” he says. “Investigations like this need to be replicated, to increase the degree of evidence and gradually achieve changes in the health of the population “, he concludes.
Source: Telecinco – Noticias de última hora, realities y series by www.telecinco.es.
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