The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Benefits of healthy living and the Mediterranean diet

    Researchers at Maastricht University Medical Centre, in the Netherlands, looked for an association with total mortality and premature death.

    First, the details.

    • In 1986, 120,852 men and women provided information on dietary and other lifestyle habits.
    • They were followed until 1996.
    • A “healthy lifestyle” score (0 to 4 points: least healthy to healthiest), comprised 4 factors:
      • Not smoking
      • Being physically active for at least 30 minutes a day
      • Having a healthy body weight (BMI between 18.5 and 25)
      • Adhering to a Mediterranean diet (high intake of fruits, vegetables, legumes such as beans, nuts, whole grains, fish, monounsaturated instead of saturated fat, and low intakes of meat and limiting alcohol to 0.5 to 2 glasses a day)

    And, the results.

    • Adherence to the Mediterranean diet was significantly related to lower mortality in women but not in men.
    • Following the healthiest lifestyle was significantly associated with lower mortality in women and men vs the least healthy lifestyle.
    • When the least-healthy to healthiest lifestyle scores were compared, the mortality rate advancement period (“aging effect”) was 15 years in women and 8 years in men.
    • The least healthy women had the same risk of death as the healthiest women who were 15 years older.
    • In men, this effect was 8 years.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “Adherence to 4 modifiable healthy lifestyle factors can substantially reduce premature mortality in women and men.”

    The benefits associated with healthy living are impressive.

    8/4/11 21:18 JR

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