Mediterranean diet a recipe for strength in old age - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mediterranean diet a recipe for strength in old age

Updated:
© iStockphoto.com © iStockphoto.com

(HealthDay News) -- A Mediterranean diet may make seniors less likely to become frail and help them maintain their health and independence, new research suggests.

Frailty -- characterized by weak muscle strength, weight loss and low energy -- is common among seniors. Frail seniors are at increased risk for falls, fractures, hospitalization, disability, dementia, nursing home placement and premature death.

It's believed that nutrition may play a role in frailty, so researchers reviewed data from four studies to determine if a healthy diet might reduce the risk for frailty. The studies included nearly 5,800 older adults in France, Spain, Italy and China.

They found that following a Mediterranean diet appears to be beneficial. That diet is high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts.

The findings were published online Jan. 11 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

"We found the evidence was very consistent that older people who follow a Mediterranean diet had a lower risk of becoming frail," said researcher Kate Walters, from the University College London.

"People who followed a Mediterranean diet the most were overall less than half as likely to become frail over a nearly four-year period compared with those who followed it the least," she said in a journal news release.

However, it's unclear whether people who followed a Mediterranean diet had other factors that may have helped prevent frailty. And the study did not prove that a Mediterranean diet actually caused frailty risk to drop, just that there was an association.

"While the studies we included adjusted for many of the major factors that could be associated -- for example, their age, gender, social class, smoking, alcohol, how much they exercised, and how many health conditions they had -- there may be other factors that were not measured and we could not account for," Walters said.

"We now need large studies that look at whether increasing how much you follow a Mediterranean diet will reduce your risk of becoming frail," she concluded.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Aging has more about healthy eating and healthy aging.

Copyright © 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

  • Senior LifeMore>>

  • Spokane Area Senior Centers

    Spokane Area Senior Centers

    Tuesday, April 28 2009 1:02 PM EDT2009-04-28 17:02:13 GMT
    This is a list of addresses and phone numbers for Senior Citizen Community Centers in the Spokane Area.>>
    This is a list of addresses and phone numbers for Senior Citizen Community Centers in the Spokane Area.>>
  • North Idaho Senior Centers

    North Idaho Senior Centers

    Thursday, April 23 2009 7:22 PM EDT2009-04-23 23:22:05 GMT
    This is a list of addresses and phone numbers for Senior Citizen Community Centers in the North Idaho Area.>>
    This is a list of addresses and phone numbers for Senior Citizen Community Centers in the North Idaho Area.>>
  • Senior Housing Options

    Senior Housing Options

    Independent Living/Retirement Communities, Assisted Living Communities, Skilled Nursing Facilities, and Adult Family Homes.  How are they different and how do you know which one is right for you?>>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.