Diet and lifestyle influence morbidity and mortality. Among the elderly it is of particular importance to adopt diet and lifestyle practices that minimize their risk of morbidity and maximize their prospects for healthful aging. The Mediterranean diet is a model of a healthy diet that represents the dietary pattern among populations of the Mediterranean area. Most studies that were published in the last decade evaluated its effect on specific diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. However, it may also interfere with the aging process and result in greater longevity and successful aging. Therefore, it is not surprising that interest in the effect of the Mediterranean diet on the aging process and longevity is increasing. In the current paper we will focus on the effect of the Mediterranean diet on aging and longevity. Our literature review identified seven studies which focused on assessing the impact of the Mediterranean diet on longevity and successful aging. All these studies demonstrated that the Mediterranean diet has a positive effect on survival and longevity. The paper also includes proposed mechanisms for the beneficial effects of the Mediterranean diet.
Keywords: Mediterranean diet, aging, longevity, survival, elderly
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