Recent Blog Articles
If cannabis becomes a problem: How to manage withdrawal
Corneal transplants becoming more common
An emerging treatment option for men on active surveillance
Gun violence: A long-lasting toll on children and teens
Adult female acne: Why it happens and the emotional toll
Talking to your doctor about your LGBTQ+ sex life
Untangling grief: Living beyond a great loss
Thunderstorm asthma: Bad weather, allergies, and asthma attacks
Heart problems and the heat: What to know and do
I’m too young to have Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, right?
Study links Mediterranean diet to longevity in women
The Mediterranean diet consistently has been linked with an array of health benefits, including decreased risk of heart disease, diabetes, dementia, and cancer. In a study published online Dec. 2, 2014, by the medical journal BMJ, researchers at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital linked the Mediterranean diet to longer life as well. The researchers analyzed information from 4,676 healthy women in the Nurses' Health Study who had completed a food questionnaire and whose telomere lengths had been measured. (Telomeres are repetitive DNA sequences at the ends of chromosomes that get shorter every time a cell divides, and thus are markers of cell aging.) They found that a greater adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with longer telomeres, and that even small changes in diet made a difference. In effect, the women who had followed the Mediterranean diet were biologically younger than those who hadn't.
The Mediterranean diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, nuts, seeds, beans, and legumes. Animal protein is furnished by seafood and moderate amounts of poultry, eggs, and dairy. Red meat and sweets are considered occasional treats. This study gives another reason to follow this healthy—and tasty—eating plan.
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
Free Healthbeat Signup
Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!