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5 novembre 2011 6 05 /11 /novembre /2011 10:24

Flora and fauna

Phytogeographically, the Mediterranean basin together with the nearby Atlantic coast, the Mediterranean woodlands and forests and Mediterranean dry woodlands and steppe of North Africa, the Black Sea coast of northeasten Anatolia,Sony VAIO VGN-NS31Z/S Battery

the southern coast of Crimea between Sevastopol and Feodosia and the Black Sea coast betweenAnapa and Tuapse in Russia forms the Mediterranean Floristic Region, which belongs to the Tethyan Subkingdom of the Boreal Kingdom and is enclosed between theCircumboreal, Irano-Turanian, Saharo-Arabian and Macaronesian floristic regions.Sony VAIO VGN-NS31Z/W Battery

The genera Aubrieta, Sesamoides, Cynara, Dracunculus, Arisarum and Biarum are nearly endemic. Among the endemic species prominent in the Mediterranean vegetation are the Aleppo Pine, Stone Pine, Mediterranean Cypress, Bay Laurel, Oriental Sweetgum, Holm Oak, Kermes Oak, Strawberry Tree, Greek Strawberry Tree, Sony VAIO VGN-NS38M/P Battery

Mastic, Terebinth,Common Myrtle, Oleander, Acanthus mollis, Vitex agnus-castus. Moreover, many plant taxa are shared with one of the four neighboring floristic regions only. According to different vesions of Armen Takhtajan's delineation, the Mediterranean Region is further subdivided into seven to nine floristic provinces:Sony VAIO VGN-NS38M/W Battery

Southwestern Mediterranean (or Southern Moroccan and Southwestern Mediterranean), Ibero-Balearian (or Iberian and Balearian), Liguro-Tyrrhenian, Adriatic, East Mediterranean, South Mediterranean and Crimeo-Novorossiysk.

The Mediterranean Basin is the largest of the world's five Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub regions. It is home to a number of plant communities, which vary with rainfall, elevation, latitude, and soils.Sony VAIO VGN-NS130E/L Battery

  • Scrublands occur in the driest areas, especially areas near the seacoast where wind and salt spray are frequent. Low, soft-leaved scrublands around the Mediterranean are known as garrigue in France, phrygana in Greece, tomillares in Spain, and batha in Israel.Sony VAIO VGN-NS130E/S Battery
  • Shrublands are dense thickets of evergreen sclerophyll shrubs and small trees, and are the commonest plant community around the Mediterranean. Mediterranean shrublands are known as matorral in Spain, macchia in Italy, and maquis in France, Malta and elsewhere around the Mediterranean. Sony VAIO VGN-NS130E/W Battery
  • In some places shrublands are the mature vegetation type, and in other places the result of degradation of former forest or woodland by logging or overgrazing, or disturbance by major fires.
  • Savannas and grasslands occur around the Mediterranean, usually dominated by annual grasses. Sony VAIO VGN-NS140E/L Battery
  • Woodlands are usually dominated by oak and pine, mixed with other sclerophyll and coniferous trees.
  • Forests are distinct from woodlands in having a closed canopy, and occur in the areas of highest rainfall and in riparian zones along rivers and streams where they receive summer water. Sony VAIO VGN-NS140E/S Battery
  • Mediterranean forests are generally composed of evergreen trees, predominantly oak and pine. At higher elevations Mediterranean forests transition to mixed broadleaf and tall conifer forests similar to temperate zone forests.Sony VAIO VGN-NS140E/W Battery

The Mediterranean Basin is home to considerable biodiversity, including 22,500 endemic vascular plant species. Conservation International designates the region as abiodiversity hotspot, because of its rich biodiversity and its threatened status. The Mediterranean Basin has an area of 2,085,292 km², of which only 98,009 km² remains undisturbed.Sony VAIO VGN-NS190J/L Battery

Endangered mammals of the Mediterranean Basin include the Mediterranean Monk Seal, the Barbary Macaque, and the Iberian Lynx.

Neanderthals inhabited western Asia and the non-glaciated portions of Europe starting about 230,000 years ago. Modern humans moved into western Asia from Africa less than 100,000 years ago.Sony VAIO VGN-NS190J/S Battery

Modern humans, known as Cro-Magnons, moved into Europe approximately 50-40,000 years ago.

The most recent glacial period, the Wisconsin glaciation, reached its maximum extent approximately 21,000 years ago, and ended approximately 12,000 years ago. A warm period, known as the Holocene climatic optimum, followed the ice age.Sony VAIO VGN-NS190J/W Battery

Food crops, including wheat, chickpeas, and olives, along with sheep and goats, were domesticated in the eastern Mediterranean in the 9th millennium BCE, which allowed for the establishment of agricultural settlements. Near Eastern crops spread to southeastern Europe in the 7th millennium BCE.Sony VAIO VGN-NS235J/L Battery

Poppy and oats were domesticated in Europe from the 6th to the 3rd millennium BCE. Agricultural settlements spread around the Mediterranean Basin. Megaliths were constructed in Europe from 4500 – 1500 BCE.

A strengthening of the summer monsoon 9000–7000 years ago increased rainfall across the Sahara, which became a grassland, with lakes, rivers, and wetlands.Sony VAIO VGN-NS235J/P Battery

After a period of climatic instability, the Sahara settled into a desert state by the 4th millennium BCE.

Agriculture

Wheat is the dominant grain grown around the Mediterranean Basin. Pulses and vegetables are also grown. The characteristic tree crop is the olive. Figs are another important fruit tree, and citrus, especially lemons, are grown where irrigation is present.Sony VAIO VGN-NS235J/S Battery

Grapes are an important vine crop, grown for fruit and to make wine. Riceand summer vegetables are grown in irrigated areas.

A Mediterranean climate is the climate typical of most of the lands in the Mediterranean Basin, and is a particular variety of subtropical climate. Sony VAIO VGN-NS235J/W Battery

The lands around the Mediterranean Sea form the largest area where this climate type is found, but it also prevails in much ofCalifornia, in parts of Western and South Australia, in southwestern South Africa, and in parts of central coastal Chile.Sony VAIO VGN-NS240E/L Battery

Characteristics

The climate is characterized by warm to hot, dry summers and mild to cool, wet winters. Mediterranean climate zones are associated with the five large subtropical high pressure cells of the oceans, the Azores High, South Atlantic High, and Indian Ocean high.Sony VAIO VGN-NS290J/L Battery

These high pressure cells shift towards the poles in the summer and towards the equator in the winter, playing a major role in the formation of the world's tropical deserts and the Mediterranean Basin's climate.

The South Atlantic High is similarly associated with the Namib Desert and the Mediterranean climate of the western part of South Africa. Sony VAIO VGN-NS290J/S Battery

The North Pacific High is related to the Sonoran Desert and California's climate, while the South Pacific High is related to the Atacama Desert and central Chile's climate, and the Indian Ocean High is related to the deserts of western Australia (Great Sandy Desert, Great Victoria Desert, and Gibson Desert) and the Mediterranean climate of southwest and south-central Australia.Sony VAIO VGN-NS50B/L Battery

Most large, historic cities of the Mediterranean basin, including Athens, Barcelona, Beirut, Jerusalem, Lisbon, Marseille and Rome, lie within Mediterranean climatic zones, as do major cities outside of the Mediterranean basin, such as Cape Town, Los Angeles, Adelaide, Perth, San Francisco, and Santiago de Chile.Sony VAIO VGN-NS50B/W Battery

Köppen climate classification

Under the Köppen climate classification, "dry-summer subtropical" climates (classified as Csa andCsb) are often referred to as "Mediterranean". Under the Köppen-Geiger system, "C" zones have an average temperature above 10 °C (50 °F) in their warmest months, Sony VAIO VGN-NS51B/L Battery

and an average in the coldest between 18 °C (64 °F) and ?3 °C. (26.6 °F) (or, in some applications, between 20 °C and 0 °C (32 °F)). The second letter indicates the precipitation pattern: "s" represents dry summers: first, Köppen has defined a dry month as a month with less than one-third that of the wettest winter month, and with less than 30 mm of precipitations in a summer month. Sony VAIO VGN-NS51B/P Battery

But ulterior updates will rather use a 40 mm level. The third letter indicates the degree of summer heat: "a" represents an average temperature in the warmest month above 22 °C (72 °F), with at least four months averaging above 10 °C (50 °F); "b", an average temperature in the warmest month below 22 °C, and again with at least two months averaging above 10 °C.Sony VAIO VGN-NS51B/W Battery

Under this classification, dry-summer subtropical climates (Csa, Csb) usually occur on the western sides of continents. Csb zones include areas normally associated with Oceanic climates, not Mediterranean, such as much of the Pacific Northwest, much of southern Chile, parts of west-central Argentina, northern Portugal and, north-western Spain.Sony VAIO VGN-NS52JB/L Battery

Additional highland areas in the subtropics also meet Cs requirements, though they, too, are not normally associated with Mediterranean climates, as do a number of oceanic islands such as Madeira, the Juan Fernández Islands, the western part of the Canary Islands and the eastern part of the Azores.Sony VAIO VGN-NS52JB/P Battery

Under Trewartha's modified Koeppen climate classification, the two major requirements for a Cs climate are revised. Under Trewartha's system, at least eight months must have average temperatures of at least 10 °C, and the average annual precipitation must not exceed 900 mm (35 in).Sony VAIO VGN-NS52JB/W Battery

Thus, under this system, many Csb zones (including the Pacific Northwest), become DO Oceanic.

Precipitation

During summer, regions of Mediterranean climate are dominated by subtropical high pressure cells, with dry sinking air capping a surface marine layer of varying humidity and making rainfall impossible or unlikely except for the occasional thunderstorm, Sony VAIO VGN-NS70B/W Battery

while during winter the polar jet stream and associated periodic storms reach into the lower latitudes of the Mediterranean zones, bringing rain, with snow at higher elevations. As a result, areas with this climate receive almost all of their yearly rainfall during their winter season, and may go anywhere from 4 to 6 months during the summer without having any significantprecipitation.Sony VAIO VGN-NS71B/W Battery

Toward the equatorial latitudes, winter precipitation decreases as a share of annual precipitation as the climate grades equatorward into the steppe climate usually characterized as BSHs normally too dry to support unirrigated agriculture. Toward the polar latitudes, total moisture usually increases;Sony VAIO VGN-NS72JB/W Battery

in Europe there is more summer rain further north while along the American west coast the winters become more intensely wet and the dry seasons shorter as one moves north. In the northwestern Mediterranean Basin, the rainiest season is divided into a primary maximum during the autumn and a secondary in spring, making for a shorter dry season than in the classic Mediterranean climate.Sony VAIO VGN-NS90HS Battery

Temperature

The majority of the regions with Mediterranean climates have relatively mild winters and very warm summers. However winter and summer temperatures can vary greatly between different regions with a Mediterranean climate. Sony VAIO VGN-NS92JS Battery

In the case of winters for instance, Lisbon experiences very mild temperatures in the winter, with frost and snow practically unknown, whereasThessaloniki has colder winters with annual frosts and snowfall. In the case of summers for instance, Athens experiences rather high temperatures in the summer (48.0°C has been measured in nearby Eleusina). Sony VAIO VGN-NS92XS Battery

In contrast, San Francisco has mild summers due to the upwelling of cold subsurface waters along the coast producing regular summer fog.

Because most regions with a Mediterranean climate are near large bodies of water,Sony VAIO VGN-NW11S/S Battery

temperatures are generally moderate with a comparatively small range of temperatures between the winter low and summer high (although the daily range of temperature during the summer is large due to dry and clear conditions, except along the immediate coasts). Sony VAIO VGN-NW11S/T Battery

Temperatures during winter only occasionally fall below the freezing point and snow generally is seldom seen. In the summer, the temperatures range from mild to very hot, depending on distance from a large body of water, elevation, and latitude. Sony VAIO VGN-NW11Z/S Battery

Even in the warmest locations with a Mediterranean-type climate, however, temperatures usually do not reach the highest readings found in adjacent desertregions because of cooling from water bodies, although strong winds from inland desert regions can sometimes boost summer temperatures, quickly increasing the risk of Wildfires.Sony VAIO VGN-NW11Z/T Battery

As in every climatologic domain, the highland locations of the Mediterranean domain can present cooler temperatures in winter than the lowland areas, temperatures which can sometimes prohibit the growth of typical Mediterranean plants. Some Spanish authors opt to use the term Sony VAIO VGN-NW21EF/S Battery

"Continental Mediterranean climate" for some regions with lower temperature in winter than the coastal areas (direct translation from Clima Mediterráneo Continentalizado), but most climate classifications (including Köppen's Cs zones) show no distinction.Sony VAIO VGN-NW21JF Battery

Additionally, the temperature and rainfall pattern for a Csa or even a Csb climate can exist as a microclimate in some high-altitude locations adjacent to a rare tropical As (summer-drought tropical climate, typically in a rainshadow region).

Mediterranean Biome

The Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub biome is closely associated with Mediterranean climate zones. Sony VAIO VGN-NW21MF Battery

Particularly distinctive of the climate are sclerophyllshrublands, called maquis in the Mediterranean Basin, chaparral in California, matorral in Chile, fynbos in South Africa, and mallee and kwongan shrublands in Australia. Sony VAIO VGN-NW21MF/W Battery

Aquatic communities in Mediterranean climate regions are adapted to a yearly cycle in which abiotic (environmental) controls of stream populations and community structure dominate during floods, Biotic component (e.g. competition and predation) controls become increasingly important as the discharge declines, Sony VAIO VGN-NW21ZF Battery

and environmental controls regain dominance as environmental conditions become very harsh (i.e. hot and dry); as a result, these communities are well suited to recover from droughts, floods, and fires.

Much native vegetation in Mediterranean climate area valleys have been cleared for agriculture.Sony VAIO VGN-NW31EF/W Battery

In places such as the Sacramento Valley and Oxnard Plain inCalifornia, draining marshes and estuaries combined with supplemental irrigation has led to a century of intensive agriculture. Much of the Overberg in the southern Cape of South Africa, once covered with renosterveld, has likewise been largely converted to agriculture, mainly wheat. Sony VAIO VGN-NW31JF Battery

In hillside and mountainous areas, away fromurban sprawl, ecosystems and habitats of native vegetation are more sustained.

The fynbos vegetation in the South-western Cape in South Africa is famed for its high floral diversity, and includes such plant types as members of the Restionaceae,Ericas (Heaths) and Proteas. Sony VAIO VGN-NW320F/B Battery

Representatives of the Proteaceae also grow in Australia, such as Banksias. The palette of California native plants is also renowned for its species and cultivar diversity.

Hot-summer Mediterranean climate

This subtype of the Mediterranean climate (Csa) is the most common form of the Mediterranean climate, therefore it is also known as “Typical Mediterranean climate”. Sony VAIO VGN-NW320F/TC Battery

As stated earlier, regions with this form of a Mediterranean climate experiences average monthly temperatures in excess of 21.8°C (72°F) during its warmest month and an average in the coldest month between 18°C (64°F) and ?3°C (26.6°F) or, in some applications, between 18°C and 0°C (32°F).Sony VAIO VGN-NW35E Battery

Also, at least four months must average above 10°C (50°F). Regions with this form of the Mediterranean climate typically experience hot, sometimes very hot and dry summers and mild, wet winters. In a number of instances, summers here can closely resemble summers seen in arid and semiarid climates. Sony VAIO VGN-NW380F/S Battery

However, high temperatures during summers are generally not quite as high as those seen in arid or semiarid climates due to the presence of a large body of water. All areas with this subtype have wet winters. However, some areas with a hot Mediterranean subtype can actually experience very chilly winters, complete with occasional snowfall.Sony VAIO VGN-NW380F/T Battery

Precipitation is heavier during the colder months. However, there are a number of clear, sunny days during the wetter months.

Csa climates are mainly found around the Mediterranean Sea, southwestern Australia, southwestern South Africa and in the interior of California.Sony VAIO VGN-NW50JB Battery

Warm-summer Mediterranean climate

Occasionally also termed “Cool-summer Mediterranean climate”, this subtype of the Mediterranean climate (Csb) is the less common form of the Mediterranean climate.Sony VAIO VGN-NW51FB/N Battery

As stated earlier, regions with this subtype of the Mediterranean climate experiences warm (but not hot) and dry summers, with no average monthly temperatures above 21.8°C (72°F) during its warmest month and an average in the coldest month between 18°C (64°F) and ?3°C (26.6°F) or, in some applications, between 18°C and 0°C (32°F). Sony VAIO VGN-NW51FB/W Battery

Also, at least four months must average above 10°C (50°F). Winters are rainy and can be mild to chilly. In a few instances, snow can fall on these areas. Precipitation is heavier during the colder months, but there are a number of clear sunny days even during the wetter seasons.Sony VAIO VGN-NW70JB Battery

As stated earlier, in some instances, regions with this subtype of the Mediterranean climate closely resembles an Oceanic climate. Unlike typical Mediterranean climates, for the majority of the year, these regions experience generally cloudier and damper conditions.Sony VAIO VGN-NW71FB/N Battery

However, sunshine duration remains higher than in the Cfb areas, and during the summer months, these regions experience sunny, dry and warm conditions, where almost no rain falls. There is the legitimate threat of forest fires in these areas, in regions such as Galicia and the Pacific Northwest.Sony VAIO VGN-NW71FB/W Battery

Despite the fact that these climates are technically Csb climates, a number of scientists (and others) do not consider the climate “Mediterranean”, primarily because of the predominantly oceanic characteristics that these places exhibit. They are instead categorized as a form of an oceanic climate.Sony VAIO VGN-NW91FS Battery

Csb climates are found in northwestern Iberia, coastal California and parts of the Pacific Northwest, central Chile, parts of southern Australia and sections of southwestern South Africa.

The Mediterranean diet is a modern nutritional recommendation inspired by the traditional dietary patterns of southern Italy, Crete and much of the rest of Greecein the 1960s.Sony VAIO VGN-NW91GS Battery

On November 17, 2010, UNESCO recognized this diet pattern as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Italy, Greece, Spain and Morocco, thus reinforcing it not only as a fundamental part of their history and background, but also as a great contribution to the world.Sony VAIO VGN-NW91VS Battery

Despite its name, this diet is not typical of all Mediterranean cuisine. In Northern Italy, for instance, lard and butter are commonly used in cooking, and olive oil is reserved for dressing salads and cooked vegetables.In North Africa, wine is traditionally avoided by Muslims. Sony VAIO VGN-SR11M Battery

In both North Africa and the Levant, along with olive oil, sheep's tail fat and rendered butter (samna) are traditional staple fats.

The most commonly understood version of the Mediterranean diet was presented, amongst others, by Dr Walter Willett of Harvard University's School of Public Healthfrom the mid-1990s on, including a book for the general public.Sony VAIO VGN-SR11MR Battery

Based on "food patterns typical of Crete, much of the rest of Greece, and southern Italy in the early 1960s", this diet, in addition to "regular physical activity," emphasizes "abundant plant foods, fresh fruit as the typical daily dessert, olive oil as the principal source of fat, dairy products (principally cheese and yogurt),Sony VAIO VGN-SR140D Battery

and fish and poultry consumed in low to moderate amounts, zero to four eggs consumed weekly, red meat consumed in low amounts, and wine consumed in low to moderate amounts". Total fat in this diet is 25% to 35% of calories, with saturated fat at 8% or less of calories.Sony VAIO VGN-SR140D/B Battery

The principal aspects of this diet include high olive oil consumption, high consumption of legumes, high consumption of unrefined cereals, high consumption of fruits, high consumption of vegetables, moderate consumption of dairy products (mostly as cheese and yogurt), moderate to high consumption of fish, low consumption of meat and meat products, and moderate wine consumption.Sony VAIO VGN-SR140D/P Battery

Olive oil is particularly characteristic of the Mediterranean diet. It contains a very high level of monounsaturated fats, most notably oleic acid, which epidemiological studies suggest may be linked to a reduction in coronary heart disease risk.Sony VAIO VGN-SR140D/S Battery

There is also evidence that the antioxidants in olive oil improve cholesterol regulation and LDL cholesterol reduction, and that it has other anti-inflammatory and anti-hypertensive effects.

History

Although it was first publicized in 1945 by the American doctor Ancel Keys stationed in Salerno, Italy, the Mediterranean diet failed to gain widespread recognition until the 1990s. Sony VAIO VGN-SR140E Battery

Objective data showing that Mediterranean diet is healthy first originated from the Seven Countries Study.

Mediterranean diet is based on what from the point of view of mainstream nutrition is considered a paradox: that although the people living in Mediterranean countries tend to consume relatively high amounts of fat, they have far lower rates of cardiovascular disease than in countries like the United States, where similar levels of fat consumption are found. A parallel phenomenon is known as the French Paradox.Sony VAIO VGN-SR140E/B Battery

A diet rich in salads was promoted in England during the early Renaissance period by Giacomo Castelvetro in A Brief Account of the Fruits, Herbs and Vegetables of Italy.[16] He attempted, without success, to convince the English to eat more fruits and vegetables.Sony VAIO VGN-SR140E/P Battery

Health effects

A number of diets have received attention, but the strongest evidence for a beneficial health effect and decreased mortality after switching to a largely plant based diet comes from studies of Mediterranean diet, e.g. from the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study.Sony VAIO VGN-SR140E/S Battery]

The Mediterranean diet is often cited as beneficial for being low in saturated fat and high in monounsaturated fat and dietary fiber. One of the main explanations is thought to be the health effects of olive oil included in the Mediterranean diet.

The Mediterranean diet is high in salt content. Foods such as olives, salt-cured cheeses, anchovies, capers, salted fish roe, and salads dressed with olive oil all contain high levels of salt.Sony VAIO VGN-SR140N/S Battery

A study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry shows that people who followed the Mediterranean diet were less likely to develop depression.

In addition, the consumption of red wine is considered a possible factor, as it contains flavonoids with powerful antioxidant properties.Sony VAIO VGN-SR165E/B Battery

Mireille Guiliano credits the health effects of the Mediterranean diet to factors such as small portions, daily exercise, and the emphasis on freshness, balance, and pleasure in food.

Dietary factors are only part of the reason for the health benefits enjoyed by certain Mediterranean cultures. A healthy lifestyle (notably a physically active lifestyle or labour) is also beneficial.Sony VAIO VGN-SR165E/P Battery

Environment may also be involved. However, on the population level, i.e. for the population of a whole country or a region, the influence of genetics is rather minimal, because it was shown that the slowly changing habits of Mediterranean populations, from a healthy active lifestyle and Mediterranean diet to a not so healthy, Sony VAIO VGN-SR165E/S Battery

less physically active lifestyle and a diet influenced by the Western pattern diet, significantly increases risk of heart disease. There is an inverse association between adherence to the Mediterranean diet and the incidence of fatal and non fatal heart disease in initially healthy middle aged adults in the Mediterranean region.Sony VAIO VGN-SR190EBJ Battery

A 10-year study published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) found that adherence to a Mediterranean diet and healthful lifestyle was associated with more than a 50% lowering of early death rates. Sony VAIO VGN-SR190EBQ Battery

The putative benefits of the Mediterranean diet for cardiovascular health are primarily correlative in nature; while they reflect a very real disparity in the geographic incidence of heart disease, identifying the causal determinant of this disparity has proven difficult.Sony VAIO VGN-SR190EEJ/C Battery

The most popular dietary candidate, olive oil, has been undermined by a body of experimental evidence that diets enriched in monounsaturated fats such as olive oil are not atheroprotective when compared to diets enriched in either polyunsaturated or even saturated fats.Sony VAIO VGN-SR190NAB Battery

A recently emerging alternative hypothesis to the Mediterranean diet is that differential exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation accounts for the disparity in cardiovascular health between residents of Mediterranean and more northerly countries. The proposed mechanism is solar UVB-induced synthesis of Vitamin D in the oils of the skin,Sony VAIO VGN-SR190NBB Battery

which has been observed to reduce the incidence of coronary heart disease, and which rapidly diminishes with increasing latitude.[31] Interestingly, residents of the Mediterranean are also observed to have very low rates of skin cancer (which is widely believed to be caused by over-exposure to solar UV radiation);Sony VAIO VGN-SR190NDB Battery

incidence of melanomas in the Mediterranean countries is lower than in Northern Europe and significantly lower than in other hot countries such as Australia and New Zealand. Its been hypothesized that some components of the Mediterranean diet may provide protection against skin cancer.Sony VAIO VGN-SR190NEB Battery

Medical research

The Seven Countries Study found that Cretan men had exceptionally low death rates from heart disease, despite moderate to high intake of fat. The Cretan diet is similar to other traditional Mediterranean diets, consisting mostly of olive oil, bread, abundant fruit and vegetables, fish, and a moderate amount of dairy foods and wine.Sony VAIO VGN-SR190NGB Battery

The Lyon Diet Heart Study set out to mimic the Cretan diet, but adopted a pragmatic approach. Realizing that some of the people in the study (all of whom had survived a first heart attack) would be reluctant to move from butter to olive oil, they used a margarine based on rapeseed (canola) oil.Sony VAIO VGN-SR190PAB Battery

The dietary change also included 20% increases in vitamin C-rich fruit and bread and decreases in processed and red meat. On this diet, mortality from all causes was reduced by 70%. This study was so successful that the ethics committee decided to stop the study prematurely so that the results of the study could be made available to the public immediately.Sony VAIO VGN-SR190PCB Battery

According to a 2008 study published in the British Medical Journal, the traditional Mediterranean diet provides substantial protection against type 2 diabetes. The study involved over 13 000 graduates from the University of Navarra in Spain with no history of diabetes,Sony VAIO VGN-SR190PFB Battery

who were recruited between December 1999 and November 2007, and whose dietary habits and health were subsequently tracked. Participants initially completed a 136-item food frequency questionnaire designed to measure the entire diet. The questionnaire also included questions on the use of fats and oils, cooking methods and dietary supplements. Sony VAIO VGN-SR19VN Battery

Every two years participants were sent follow-up questionnaires on diet, lifestyle, risk factors, and medical conditions. New cases of diabetes were confirmed through medical reports. During the follow-up period (median 4.4 years) the researchers from the University of Navarra found that participants who stuck closely to the diet had a lower risk of diabetes. Sony VAIO VGN-SR19VN Battery

A high adherence to the diet was associated with an 83% relative reduction in the risk of developing diabetes.

A 2008 study published in The New England Journal of Medicine examined the effects of three diets: low-carb, low-fat, and Mediterranean. The study involved 322 participants and lasted for two years.Sony VAIO VGN-SR19VRN Battery

The low-carb and Mediterranean diet resulted in the greatest weight loss, 12 lbs and 10 lbs, respectively. The low-fat diet resulted in a loss of 7 lbs. One caveat of the study is that 86% of the study participants were men. The low-carb and Mediterranean diets produced similar amounts of weight loss in the overall study results and in the men.Sony VAIO VGN-SR19XN Battery

In the remaining participants who were women, the Mediterranean diet produced 3.8 kg (8.4 lbs) more weight loss on average than the low-carb diet.

A meta-analysis published in the British Medical Journal in 2008 showed that following strictly the Mediterranean diet reduced the risk of dying from cancer and cardiovascular disease as well as the risk of developing Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. Sony VAIO VGN-SR19XN Battery

The results report 9%, 9%, and 6% reduction in overall, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality respectively. Additionally a 13% reduction in incidence of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases is to be expected provided strict adherence to the diet is observed. Sony VAIO VGN-SR210J/S Battery

As well, a 2007 study found that adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MeDi) may affect not only risk for Alzheimer disease (AD) but also subsequent disease course: Higher adherence to the MeDi is associated with lower mortality in AD. The gradual reduction in mortality risk for higher MeDi adherence tertiles suggests a possible dose-response effect.Sony VAIO VGN-SR21M/S Battery

A study published in the British Medical Journal in 2009 showed some components of the Mediterranean diet, such as high vegetable consumption and low meat and meat product consumption, are more significantly associated with low risk of mortality than other components, such as cereal consumption and fish consumption. Sony VAIO VGN-SR21RM/H Battery

As part of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study, researchers followed more than 23,000 Greek men and women for 8.5 years to see how various aspects of a Mediterranean diet affect mortality. Moderate alcohol consumption, high fruit and nut consumption, and high legume consumption were also associated with lower risk of mortality.Sony VAIO VGN-SR21RM/S Battery

Mediterranean Diet, articulated into extensive lifestyles interventions in a clinical follow-up study, improves renal artery circulation, decreasing renal resistive index, even without significant modifications of Insulin Resistance. This is a beneficial effect and modifies the pathophysiology of essential hypertension.Sony VAIO VGN-SR220J/B Battery

Another study (reported on in the news in February 2010) found that the diet may help keep the brain healthy by reducing the frequency of the mini-strokes that can contribute to mental decline.  Mediterranean Diet is becoming a comprehensive popular and successful translational paradigm for the promotion of healthier lifestyles .Sony VAIO VGN-SR220J/H Battery

A 2011 meta-analysis published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology analyzed the results of 50 studies (35 clinical trials, 2 prospective and 13 cross-sectional) covering about 535,000 people to examine the effect of a Mediterranean diet on metabolic syndrome. Sony VAIO VGN-SR240J/B Battery

The researchers reported that a Mediterranean diet is associated with lower blood pressure, blood sugar, and triglycerides.

Researcher Antonia Trichopoulou and her team made use of data gathered in the Greek portion of a large-scale European study known as EPIC (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition).Sony VAIO VGN-SR240N/B Battery

For their study, they focused on nearly 15,000 Greek women who joined the study when they were between the ages of 20 and 86. Each woman answered a detailed food-frequency questionnaire that addressed their usual style of eating within the previous year.Sony VAIO VGN-SR290JTH Battery

They also responded to questions about their lifestyle, including smoking status and amount of physical activity, and their reproductive history. Their Body Mass Index was calculated and recorded, and those with a history of cancer were excluded from the study.Sony VAIO VGN-SR290JTJ Battery

Using the food-frequency questionnaire, the researchers were able to calculate each woman's adherence to the Mediterranean Diet by assigning a score ranging from 0 to 9. For those components of the diet that are frequently eaten, such as vegetables, legumes or fish, the women received a score of 1 if their intake was above average, and a 0 if their consumption was below average.Sony VAIO VGN-SR290JTQ Battery

Similarly, for those components that are less frequently eaten, such as dairy or red meat, those women who ate less than the average amount also received a 1, while those who ate more than the average received a 0. (This scoring system is a standard one used often in studies of The Mediterranean Diet.)Sony VAIO VGN-SR290JVB/C Battery

After a follow-up of 10 years, the researchers compared the incidence of breast cancer with each woman's Mediterranean Diet score. After controlling for such variables as age, smoking status, physical activity, Body Mass Index and use of hormone replacement therapy, the researchers found that overall,Sony VAIO VGN-SR290JVH/C Battery

there was no statistically significant link between higher Mediterranean Diet adherence and the risk of breast cancer. They then grouped the women in pre- and post-menopausal status at the start of the study and compared their Mediterranean Diet scores with

their risk of breast cancer. Sony VAIO VGN-SR290NTB Battery

And they found that for postmenopausal women, those who had high scores on the Mediterranean Diet adherence scale - that of a 6 to 9 - were 41% less likely to develop breast cancer than those whose scores were low - 0 to 3. In fact, an increase of just 2 points on the Mediterranean Diet scale decreased a postmenopausal woman's risk of breast cancer by 22%.Sony VAIO VGN-SR29VN/S Battery

Epidemiology

A lesser known but highly skilled scientist named Dr. Leland Allbaugh was appointed Field Director by the Rockefeller Foundation in the early 1950s to investigate the causes of the high rates of death on the Greek island of Crete and to report to the Greek government on a model which could provide sustainable change. Sony VAIO VGN-SR29XN/S Battery

It was envisioned that any results could be adopted into model that could then be taken to other countries suffering with similar rates of high mortality and deprivation.

After systematically reviewing every aspect of life on Crete and comparing it to life in mainland Greece and America, Dr. Allbaugh’s work provided some insightful data on heart disease and mortality rates.Sony VAIO VGN-SR2RVN/S Battery

Dr. Allbaugh documented that the rates of death in Crete were high, but the primary problem was poor public health infrastructure, poor access to good quality medical care and the availability of drugs to combat infectious diseases such as malaria, typhoid and dysentery.Sony VAIO VGN-SR390NAB Battery

Dr. Allbaugh’s data had also inadvertently highlighted that the adults of Crete had substantially better rates of heart disease than in America with a third fewer deaths related to cardiovascular disease and just under a third fewer deaths from cancer.Sony VAIO VGN-SR390NAH Battery

Although no link was made at the time between diet and heart disease, the research found that the number of daily calories eaten by a typical family in Crete was relatively high and was composed of similar components as found in an American diet, but in substantially different food groups and nutrient sources for the main calories.Sony VAIO VGN-SR41M/P Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-SR41M/S Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-SR49VN/H Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-SR51B/P Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-SR51B/S Battery

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