Scientists say the so-called Mediterranean diet can prevent the genetic risk of stroke, as it interacts with a specific gene variant, which is usually associated with the second type of diabetes.
Researchers (TuftsUniversity, CIBERFisiopatologiadelaObesidadyNutricion) conducted a research study that analyzed 7018 men and women already involved in the PREDIMED clinical trial. This test lasted five years, during which scientists studied the fact whether a Mediterranean or controlled low-fat diet has an effect on the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, or heart attack, and how this can all be related to genetics.
Before the test began, participants filled out specific questionnaires regarding the frequency of food intake so that scientists could note how close they were to following the Mediterranean diet.
Researchers’ attention was focused on a specific gene variant found in the transcription factor, the TCF7L2 gene, which is usually involved in glucose metabolism and can lead to the development of the second type of diabetic disease. The relationship of this option with heart disease previously remained unclear.
About 14% of the participants in the clinical trial were homozygous carriers with both copies of the gene variant. The analysis revealed that such homozygous carriers that followed the Mediterranean diet had fewer strokes.
According to the researchers, the products used with such a diet eliminate any hypersensitivity to cardiovascular problems. However, homozygous carriers following a controlled diet with fewer fats had a three-fold higher risk compared to heterozygous participants who possessed or did not have one copy of the gene variant.