Proceedings of the Nutrition Society

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Proceedings of the Nutrition Society (2010), 69:45-60 Cambridge University Press
Copyright © The Authors 2009

Research Article

Session 4: CVD, diabetes and cancer Evidence for the use of the Mediterranean diet in patients with CHD

Symposium on ‘Dietary management of disease’

on 17–19 June 2009, A Meeting of the Nutrition Society, was held at Queen's University Belfast, hosted by the Irish Section.

Pascal P. McKeowna1 c1, Karen Logana1, Michelle C. McKinleya1, Ian S. Younga1 and Jayne V. Woodsidea1

a1 Centre for Public Health, Institute of Clinical Science B, Queen's University Belfast, Grosvenor Road, Belfast BT12 6BJ, UK
Article author query
mckeown pp [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
logan k [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
mckinley mc [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
young is [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
woodside jv [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]


Diet is associated with the development of CHD. The incidence of CHD is lower in southern European countries than in northern European countries and it has been proposed that this difference may be a result of diet. The traditional Mediterranean diet emphasises a high intake of fruits, vegetables, bread, other forms of cereals, potatoes, beans, nuts and seeds. It includes olive oil as a major fat source and dairy products, fish and poultry are consumed in low to moderate amounts. Many observational studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet is associated with reduced risk of CHD, and this result has been confirmed by meta-analysis, while a single randomised controlled trial, the Lyon Diet Heart study, has shown a reduction in CHD risk in subjects following the Mediterranean diet in the secondary prevention setting. However, it is uncertain whether the benefits of the Mediterranean diet are transferable to other non-Mediterranean populations and whether the effects of the Mediterranean diet will still be feasible in light of the changes in pharmacological therapy seen in patients with CHD since the Lyon Diet Heart study was conducted. Further randomised controlled trials are required and if the risk-reducing effect is confirmed then the best methods to effectively deliver this public health message worldwide need to be considered.

(Online publication December 15 2009)

Key Words:Mediterranean diet; CHD; Reduction in CHD risk; Non-Mediterranean populations


c1 Corresponding author: Dr Pascal McKeown, fax +44 28 90329899, email