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1.  Mediterranean diet and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: New therapeutic option around the corner? 
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) represents the most common chronic liver disease in Western countries, being considered as the hepatic manifestation of metabolic syndrome. NAFLD has a common pathogenic background to that of metabolic syndrome, and shares many risk factors such as obesity, hypertension, insulin resistance and dyslipidemia. Although there is no currently available evidence-based established treatment for NAFLD, all the recommendations from the medical associations indicate that the most effective treatment is to reduce weight through lifestyle modifications. Diet, indeed, plays a key role in the management of NAFLD patients, as both the quantity and quality of the diet have been reported to have a beneficial role in the onset and severity of the liver disease. Among all the diets that have been proposed, a Mediterranean diet was the most effective dietary option for inducing weight loss together with beneficial effects on all the risk factors associated with metabolic syndrome and NAFLD. Over the last few years, research has demonstrated a beneficial effect of a Mediterranean diet in NAFLD. In this review, we will examine all the available data on the association between diet, nutrients and the Mediterranean diet in association with onset and severity of NAFLD.
doi:10.3748/wjg.v20.i23.7339
PMCID: PMC4064079  PMID: 24966604
Mediterranean diet; Diet; Prevention; Metabolic syndrome; Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
2.  A meta-analysis of potential risks of low levels of protein Z for diseases related to vascular thrombosis 
Thrombosis and haemostasis  2010;103(4):749-756.
Summary
The relationship between protein Z levels and thrombosis is controversial. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of the available studies to assess the association between protein Z and vascular thrombotic diseases. We conducted an electronic literature search through MedLine, Embase, Google Scholar, Web of Science, The Cochrane Library, bibliographies of retrieved articles and abstracts of congresses up to October, 2009. Studies were included if they analysed protein Z levels in patients with vascular thrombotic diseases. After the review process, 28 case-control studies (33 patient cohorts), including 4,218 patients with thrombotic diseases and 4,778 controls, were selected for analysis. The overall analysis using a random-effects model showed that low protein Z levels were associated with an increased risk of thrombosis (odds ratio [OR] 2.90, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.05–4.12; p<0.00001). On subgroup analysis, a significant association was found between low protein Z levels and arterial vascular diseases (OR 2.67, 95%CI 1.60–4.48; p=0.0002), pregnancy complications (OR 4.17, 95%CI 2.31–7.52; p<0.00001), and venous thromboembolic diseases (OR 2.18, 95%CI 1.19–4.00; p=0.01). The results of this meta-analysis are consistent with a role for protein Z deficiency in thrombotic diseases, including arterial thrombosis, pregnancy complications and venous thromboembolism.
doi:10.1160/TH09-09-0645
PMCID: PMC3692349  PMID: 20076855
Protein Z; thrombosis; coagulation; meta-analysis
3.  Predictors of Vitamin B6 and Folate Concentrations in Older Persons: The InCHIANTI Study 
Clinical chemistry  2006;52(7):1318-1324.
Background
Low dietary intake and low serum concentrations of vitamin B6 and/or folate are associated with increased risk of vascular events, possibly because of their association with inflammation, which plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases.
Methods
Using data from 1320 participants in the population-based InCHIANTI study (586 men and 734 women; median age, 69 years; range, 21–102 years) for whom complete data on folate, vitamin B6, inflammatory markers, 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T sequence variant, and important covariates were available, we evaluated the association of inflammatory markers with circulating concentrations of vitamin B6 and folate, independently of dietary vitamin intake, circulating vitamin concentrations, and MTHFR C677T sequence variant.
Results
According to multiple linear regression analysis, C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 receptor were strongly and negatively associated with circulating vitamin B6 but not with folate concentrations, independent of age, sex, serum creatinine, serum albumin, total energy intake, smoking history, dietary nutrient intake, and circulating homocysteine and vitamin concentrations. Serum folate concentrations were related to MTHFR 677 TT genotype in persons with folate intake in the lowest tertile (<221.2 μg/day). Vitamin C and retinol intakes were strongly and positively associated with serum folate concentrations independent of age, sex, serum creatinine, serum albumin, total energy intake, smoking history, homocysteine plasma concentrations, dietary nutrient intakes, serum vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 concentrations, and MTHFR C677T sequence variant.
Conclusions
Low serum vitamin B6, but not serum folate, concentrations are independent correlates of the proinflammatory state, and both are influenced by antioxidant reserves.
doi:10.1373/clinchem.2005.066217
PMCID: PMC2645619  PMID: 16690736
4.  Adherence to Mediterranean diet and health status: meta-analysis 
Objective To systematically review all the prospective cohort studies that have analysed the relation between adherence to a Mediterranean diet, mortality, and incidence of chronic diseases in a primary prevention setting.
Design Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies.
Data sources English and non-English publications in PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials from 1966 to 30 June 2008.
Studies reviewed Studies that analysed prospectively the association between adherence to a Mediterranean diet, mortality, and incidence of diseases; 12 studies, with a total of 1 574 299 subjects followed for a time ranging from three to 18 years were included.
Results The cumulative analysis among eight cohorts (514 816 subjects and 33 576 deaths) evaluating overall mortality in relation to adherence to a Mediterranean diet showed that a two point increase in the adherence score was significantly associated with a reduced risk of mortality (pooled relative risk 0.91, 95% confidence interval 0.89 to 0.94). Likewise, the analyses showed a beneficial role for greater adherence to a Mediterranean diet on cardiovascular mortality (pooled relative risk 0.91, 0.87 to 0.95), incidence of or mortality from cancer (0.94, 0.92 to 0.96), and incidence of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease (0.87, 0.80 to 0.96).
Conclusions Greater adherence to a Mediterranean diet is associated with a significant improvement in health status, as seen by a significant reduction in overall mortality (9%), mortality from cardiovascular diseases (9%), incidence of or mortality from cancer (6%), and incidence of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease (13%). These results seem to be clinically relevant for public health, in particular for encouraging a Mediterranean-like dietary pattern for primary prevention of major chronic diseases.
doi:10.1136/bmj.a1344
PMCID: PMC2533524  PMID: 18786971
5.  Cardiovascular evaluation, including resting and exercise electrocardiography, before participation in competitive sports: cross sectional study 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2008;337(7661):88-92.
Objective To evaluate the clinical usefulness of complete preparticipation cardiovascular screening in a large cohort of sports participants.
Design Cross sectional study of data over a five year period.
Setting Institute of Sports Medicine in Florence, Italy.
Participants 30 065 (23 570 men) people seeking to obtain clinical eligibility for competitive sports.
Main outcome measures Results of resting and exercise 12 lead electrocardiography.
Results Resting 12 lead ECG patterns showed abnormalities in 1812 (6%) participants, with the most common abnormalities (>80%) concerning innocent ECG changes. Exercise ECG showed an abnormal pattern in 1459 (4.9%) participants. Exercise ECG showed cardiac anomalies in 1227 athletes with normal findings on resting ECG. At the end of screening, 196 (0.6%) participants were considered ineligible for competitive sports. Among the 159 participants who were disqualified at the end of the screening for cardiac reasons, a consistent proportion (n=126, 79.2%) had shown innocent or negative findings on resting 12 lead ECG but clear pathological alterations during the exercise test. After adjustment for possible confounders, logistic regression analysis showed that age >30 years was significantly associated with an increased risk of being disqualified for cardiac findings during exercise testing.
Conclusions Among people seeking to take part in competitive sports, exercise ECG can identify those with cardiac abnormalities. Follow-up studies would show if disqualification of such people would reduce the incidence of CV events among athletes.
doi:10.1136/bmj.a346
PMCID: PMC2453296  PMID: 18599474
6.  Cardiovascular evaluation, including resting and exercise electrocardiography, before participation in competitive sports: cross sectional study 
Objective To evaluate the clinical usefulness of complete preparticipation cardiovascular screening in a large cohort of sports participants.
Design Cross sectional study of data over a five year period.
Setting Institute of Sports Medicine in Florence, Italy.
Participants 30 065 (23 570 men) people seeking to obtain clinical eligibility for competitive sports.
Main outcome measures Results of resting and exercise 12 lead electrocardiography.
Results Resting 12 lead ECG patterns showed abnormalities in 1812 (6%) participants, with the most common abnormalities (>80%) concerning innocent ECG changes. Exercise ECG showed an abnormal pattern in 1459 (4.9%) participants. Exercise ECG showed cardiac anomalies in 1227 athletes with normal findings on resting ECG. At the end of screening, 196 (0.6%) participants were considered ineligible for competitive sports. Among the 159 participants who were disqualified at the end of the screening for cardiac reasons, a consistent proportion (n=126, 79.2%) had shown innocent or negative findings on resting 12 lead ECG but clear pathological alterations during the exercise test. After adjustment for possible confounders, logistic regression analysis showed that age >30 years was significantly associated with an increased risk of being disqualified for cardiac findings during exercise testing.
Conclusions Among people seeking to take part in competitive sports, exercise ECG can identify those with cardiac abnormalities. Follow-up studies would show if disqualification of such people would reduce the incidence of CV events among athletes.
doi:10.1136/bmj.a346
PMCID: PMC2453296  PMID: 18599474

Results 1-6 (6)