Study on Mediterranean diet: another French fillip?

A major clinical study shows diet–including wine–has a major impact on heart health. The New York Times summarizes the findings:

About 30 percent of heart attacks, strokes and deaths from heart disease can be prevented in people at high risk if they switch to a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil, nuts, beans, fish, fruits and vegetables, and even drink wine with meals, a large and rigorous new study found…

The magnitude of the diet’s benefits startled experts. The study ended early, after almost five years, because the results were so clear it was considered unethical to continue.

The group that consumed the Mediterranean diet in the study also had those accustomed to drinking drink seven glasses of wine a week with meals. All in the name of science.

It seems like 1991 all over again! In a widely-viewed segment then on “60 Minutes,” the news that the Mediterranean diet lowered coronary disease and failure saw Americans reach for wine, particularly red. (View segment.) Since 1993, per capita consumption of wine has increased every year.

Will this new study provide a further fillip for wine? Or is it not exactly news at this point, already baked into the paella, as it were?

“Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet” [New England Journal of Medicine]

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6 Responses to “Study on Mediterranean diet: another French fillip?”


  1. I suppose every generation can use a refresher course.

    Having said that, after years of fielding this stuff, I’ve come to the conclusion that if you want to live forever, you probably have a skewed sense of the world.

    Is it feasible that we can forestall the inevitable by eating what a population eats on its home turf?

    Has anyone studied the people in the Mediterranean to maybe connect the dots from diet to genetic makeup?

    And, finally, why is fish getting so damned expensive???


  2. TP- Fish are getting more expensive because they are being so heavily fished that they are getting harder to find naturally. Aquaculture is getting big, but it isn’t all that cheap.

    As for the Med Diet, people who think all alcohol is bad, no matter what, do constantly need rebutting (sounds painful). I applaud the effort. We are all dying, might as well stretch it out and enjoy it.


  3. Quiz:

    Rebutting? What am image!

    Oh, I know why fish is expensive. I was being facetious. Keep telling people to eat something; then they do; then it becomes scarce; then the price rises; then there’s little left to eat; then what?

    In my view, after looking into it of course, I don’t trust aquaculture as a healthy alternative.

    The real problem is population explosion: human, that is.


  4. Believe nothing you hear and only half of what you see.
    I cannot keep up with what people say about wine and food. If I like the advice, I’ll follow it.


  5. “I suppose every generation can use a refresher course.”

    Yes. I can’t believe this issue is coming around again. I thought once Pollard came out with “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants” we could stop going on and on about this stuff.

    As for the anti-alcohol crowd, there is nothing to be done but to follow Emily Post’s advice: “Cover them with a napkin and ignore them.” :-)


  6. […] A new study in the New England Journal of Medicine finds that a “Mediterranean Diet” — which includes wine, of course — benefits your heart. (H/T: Dr. Vino.)  […]


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