Scaff-Ter-Thoughts 03-31-13 – Breaking the Code of the Mediterranean Diet

In the early part of this March (2013) the New England Journal of Medicine published an article on the Mediterranean Diet they said was so significant they had to break the code.  The Mediterranean Diet has a lot of polyunsaturated olive oil, vegetables, etc.  It made all the news channels.

Dr. Scaff reported that he got the original article and read it and really was not that impressed.  Then the summary came out in the summary journals, and they also said it was not that impressive a diet, it had no effect on mortality, …which Dr. Scaff suggests is a good end point:  If you don’t live longer, what are you doing it for?  The article said the Mediterranean Diet didn’t reduce heart attacks, but it substantially reduced strokes. 

In study, in the Mediterranean Diet Group, 8 per 1,000 patient years had a stroke.  In the control group (those not on the Mediterranean Diet), 11 per 1,000 patient years had a stroke.  In a thousand patient years, a difference of 3, divided into 1,000 is 0.003, that is not significant at all.  You are more likely to get hit by lightning.

The bottom line is if you like the Mediterranean Diet, eat it, but if you are eating it because you think you will live longer, forget about it, you might as well go back to bacon and eggs and everything else.  The studies on those foods, which Dr. Scaff talks about in the Honolulu Marathon Clinic, are pretty good.