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Medical News & Perspectives
September 11, 2013

Mediterranean Diet May Reduce Stroke Risk in Individuals With Genetic Predisposition to Diabetes

JAMA. 2013;310(10):1013. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.277647

Individuals who have 2 copies of a certain gene variant that increases their risk of developing type 2 diabetes may be able to reduce their fasting glucose and lipid levels and decrease their risk of stroke by eating a Mediterranean diet. The findings appeared online August 13 in Diabetes Care (http://tinyurl.com/l5jglh5).

Researchers from the United States and Spain studied 7018 participants who were randomly assigned to either a low-fat control diet or 1 of 2 slightly different Mediterranean diets (featuring such foods as fruits and vegetables, fish, and legumes, supplemented with either extra-virgin olive oil or nuts) during a multicenter trial conducted in Spain. DNA was isolated from participants, who were monitored for cardiovascular disease, stroke, and myocardial infarction for almost 5 years. The researchers focused on a variant in the gene encoding transcription factor 7-like 2, a protein that has been implicated in glucose metabolism but whose relationship to cardiovascular disease risk was uncertain. About 14% of the study enrollees were homozygous carriers (meaning they carried 2 copies of the gene variant) and had increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

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