Monday, 29 August 2016

New study: Mediterranean diet better than statins for tackling heart disease



Heart disease is better treated with a Mediterranean-style diet than cholesterol-lowering drugs, it has been claimed. A study found those who had a diet rich in vegetables, nuts, fish and oils were a third less likely to die early, compared with those who ate larger quantities of red meat, such as beef, and butter.Speaking at a global conference on heart disease in Rome, leading heart disease expert Prof Giovanni de Gaetano said: “So far research has focused on the general population, which is mainly composed of healthy people.“What happens to people who have already suffered from cardiovascular disease? Is the Mediterranean diet optimal for them too?”

The study followed 1,200 people with a history of heart attacks, strokes and blocked arteries over seven years. During that time, 208 patients died but the closer people were to an ideal Mediterranean diet the less likely they were to be among the fatalities.

= = =

This is a very important study shedding light into the dark side of statins.
In our view, the advantages of following Med diet need to be properly communicated to healthy and non-healthy people and also the rush of medical doctors subscribing statins is another side of the problem. The reasoning against statins needs to be steady and ongoing. There are numerous misconceptions on statins out there that need to be eradicated...

Yannis Zabetakis



Further Reading

1. Marine Oils (From Sea to Pharmaceuticals)
2. Lipids and cardiovascular disease: where does dietary intervention sit alongside statin therapy?

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

food4me : some questions...



an interesting study (a major outcome of the project food4me) was published 10 days ago.

The study is around personalised nutrition advice, genotypes and phenotypes and the outcomes are interesting (to say the least).
A debate has started on whether this study is a blow to nutrigenomics but I think there is also another angle we need to view the results.

Have a look on table 3 of the study

After six months... look the impact on these 2 parameters...

1. body weight -0.61 kg
2. BMI -0.24 (where the initial one was 28.9 mean, i.e. strongly overweight! close to obese levels, i.e. 30)


It looks that people may have changed their diets ...but the positive impact of this diet change is rather minimal...

Another limitation of the study was that total cholesterol was measured whereas we know that it is the ratio of HDL/LDL that is important for CVDs and not the absolute levels of total cholesterol...
( you can read here our views on cholesterol and statins)

Yannis Zabetakis


Friday, 19 August 2016

Dietary Supplements (DS) are not a panacea


And the people who took part in this study know this.
We don't know why yet...
Only speculations are heard at the moment.

One reason though could be this : do DS do what they claim on the label ? ?  ._

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Med diet and the brain

What is the link between the Med Diet and the healthy function of the brain?
Well...quite strong as new research suggests.

So, do not forget the pyramid...




Thursday, 11 August 2016

Food and Innovation...the weakest link

Some food4thought for the coming Academic year.

Companies in the food sector, in their quest for innovation, they try different formulations, different packaging etc.
However, only few focus on the actual health benefits of food ingredients.
This is rather surprising...and actually a bit sad.

Given that EFSA has set clear guidelines on how to make novel health claims on foods, it would be beneficial, both for companies AND consumers, to create foods with novel health claims.

This would bring a dual gain.

For companies, the added value of these foods/nutritional supplements would increase dramatically.
For consumers, they will gain access to food with REAL health benefits and not the "soft" (but untrue?) messages they get on the packaging today that do NOT correspond to strong scientific data but it is just misleading info...

The challenge is huge both for companies and Academics.

But at the end of the day, the underlining question for all of us is this: do we really want to promote Science and create Novel (and really Functional!) Food or just play around with words, images and catchy phrases?


Yannis Zabetakis



inflammation and depression



For the people working on the field of inflammation, it is not unknown that inflammation is linked to the onset of many serious diseases, eg. CVDs, diabetes, cancer.

Now, there are fresh data linking inflammation to depression! The full study is here.

Let's try to remember that our diet is the most useful weapon to fight inflammation. Let's, thus, try to enrich our diet with anti-inflammatory foods (e.g. oils, nuts, fish, cheese, yoghurt).


Wednesday, 6 July 2016

what is bad and what is good?



Research can help us to correct some wrong beliefs we have about food.
Let's think about butter...
Is it good?
Is it bad?



(please pay attention to the comment of Sara on the link above).

Eating butter has no effect on raising cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk and may even have protective effects against diabetes, according to a review.
  Here it is this recent review paper.

As Hippocrates would repeat yet again...

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”