Benefits of Mediterranean Diet For Hospitalized Older Adults

Healthy Living Using Olive Oil

New Study Claims Med Diet May Improve Response To Physical Exercise

Following a Mediterranean Diet could help prevent hospitalization-associated disability in older adults, according to a new study.

A new article published in the Journal of Nutrition and Healthy Aging states that hospitalized older people who do not follow a Mediterranean Diet could benefit from a physical exercise program to prevent hospitalization-associated disability, that is, loss of skills in daily-life activities.

The study, as reported in RT News Today, goes on to claim that, if the factor of following a Mediterranean diet is included among the variables assessed on the hospital admission of elderly patients, more precise and personalized strategies could be designed to prevent hospitalization-associated disability, which is only frequent in the elderly.

The findings are the combined work of experts Mireia Urpi-Sarda, from the Faculty of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, the Institute for Research in Nutrition and Food Safety (INSA-UB) and the Torribera Food Campus of the University of Barcelona, and José Antonio Serra-Rexach, from the Biopathology of Aging Research Group of the Gregorio Marañón Health Research Institute (IISGM), both members of the CIBER on Frailty and Healthy Aging (CIBERFES).

The research shows that hospitalized older adults who follow the basic principles of a Mediterranean diet – with an emphasis -on healthy fats, vegetables, nuts and grains – could also improve their overall condition with exercise and health education guidelines.

An editorial in the Journal of Nutrition and Healthy Aging has highlighted the fact that patients with poorer physical condition show more significant improvements in response to a program of physical exercise. It also encourages further studies on the influence of dietary patterns on the effects of exercise to prevent hospitalization-associated disability.

The Mediterranean Diet Can Reduce Costs And Readmissions.

As explained in RT-News, hospitalization-associated disability is a phenomenon that affects even older patients who have been successfully treated for their condition while in the medical center. In addition, it can also lead to higher economic costs, readmissions, and even a higher mortality in some cases. In this context, physical exercise interventions during hospitalization have been shown to be safe and effective strategies to prevent this functional deterioration in hospitalized older people.

It explains:

The new study is based on the AGECAR-PLUS project, a randomized clinical study of 260 patients aged 75 years or older at the Gregorio Marañón University Hospital. As part of the study, a group of 109 volunteers — 46% women aged around 87 — were evaluated for adherence to a Mediterranean dietary pattern, urinary polyphenol levels, functional status, and other health parameters at the time of admission and discharge.

“We observed that patients who underwent the physical exercise and health education intervention during hospitalization significantly increased their functional status at discharge, compared to their admission and to patients who did not undergo the intervention. However, to date, there was no evidence of the effect of a healthy diet on functional status in hospitalized older people”.

José Antonio Serra-Rexach

A healthy diet pattern, such as the Mediterranean diet, is associated with a lower risk of physical deterioration and weakness in elderly people. Considering that the Mediterranean diet is rich in polyphenols, we have evaluated the monitoring of this dietary pattern through a validated questionnaire, as well as by analyzing the level of polyphenols in urine.”

Professor Mireia Urpi-Sarda, UB’s Biomarkers and Nutritional & Food Metabolomics Research Group Researcher Alba Tor-Roca, from the Department of Nutrition, Food Sciences and Gastronomy of the UB, notes that “in the study, we observed that in individuals who had a low adherence to the Mediterranean diet when hospitalized, the intervention with physical exercise had a greater and clinically relevant effect on their functional capacities”.

“These results suggest that adherence to the Mediterranean diet may represent an indicator of those older patients with an apparently better response to exercise interventions”, the researchers conclude.

The Mediterranean Diet And Improved Response To Physical Activity

Mediterranean Diet And Physical Activity
Mediterranean Diet And Physical Activity

The Mediterranean Diet has been the topic of many studies and researches, showing promising results in improving the body’s response to physical activity. The diet, which is inspired by the eating patterns of countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, emphasizes the consumption of whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. One of the main components of the Mediterranean Diet is extra virgin olive oil, which is rich in healthy fats and has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Find out more about how to get started on the Mediterranean diet here.

This, coupled with the overall balanced and nutrient-dense nature of the diet, has been linked to improved athletic performance and recovery, making it a popular choice among athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike. By incorporating the Mediterranean Diet into your lifestyle, you may be able to enhance your body’s response to physical activity, leading to better overall health and wellbeing.

Key Principles Of The Mediterranean Diet : A Reminder

The Mediterranean Diet is not a “diet” in the sense that it is a rigid set of rules to follow, but rather a pattern of eating that is based on enjoy delicious, healthy foods. The Mediterranean Diet has been shown to have numerous health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer. If you’re interested in trying the Mediterranean Diet, there are a few key foods that you’ll need to incorporate into your meals. Extra virgin olive oil is a mainstay of the Mediterranean Diet, and it’s used both for cooking and as a condiment. Other key ingredients include fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Fish and poultry are also important part of the diet, and red wine can be consumed in moderation.

For more information on how to follow The Mediterranean Diet, its many health benefits and recipe inspiration, explore Morocco Gold here.

Journal reference:
Tor-Roca, A., et al. (2023). Adherence to Mediterranean Diet and Response to an Exercise Program to Prevent Hospitalization-Associated Disability in Older Adults: A Secondary Analysis from a Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Nutrition and Healthy Aging.