Why a major study on the Mediterranean Diet was just retracted and replaced


By Samantha Schmidt | The Washington Post

Fads in nutrition come and go, but one diet in particular has been widely heralded for its benefits to health – the “Mediterranean diet,” rich with vegetables, fruits, fish, nuts and olive oil. For decades, researchers have shown that people in Mediterranean countries seem to show lower rates of heart disease.

And in 2013, one landmark study gave the strongest proof yet in one of the first major clinical trials to measure the diet’s heart benefits. The study, conducted in Spain, showed that consuming a Mediterranean diet can lower the risk of a heart attack, stroke or death from heart disease by about 30 percent in those at high risk.

The five-year experiment, published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, made international headlines and was hailed as a triumph.

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But on Wednesday, the study’s authors took the rare step of retracting their report. The researchers chose to withdraw their original paper and publish a new one after facing criticism of the way the initial experiment was conducted.

The findings of the revised study arrive at the same conclusions as the original one – that the Mediterranean diet can prevent heart disease. But the language in the new report is a bit more modest.

The original study concluded the diet “resulted in a substantial reduction in the risk” of major heart illness among high-risk people, while the new study said “those assigned” to a Mediterranean diet had a lower risk than those not assigned.

Despite this softened language in the report, the lead author on the study, Dr. Miguel A. Martínez-González of the University of Navarra, told The Washington Post that the causal …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Health

      

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