LOMA LINDA, Calif. (Feb. 25, 2013) – People who eat a plant-based Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts or virgin olive oil can enjoy long-term benefits that can include a 30 percent reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a landmark global study released today at the sixth International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition hosted by Loma Linda University Health.

The study, to appear in the New England Journal of Medicine, involved 7,4 47 individuals (55-80 years old) at high risk of cardiovascular disease but with no symptoms.

The results favor two Mediterranean diets (one supplemented with nuts, the other with virgin olive oil) over a low-fat diet for beneficial effects on intermediate outcomes that include body weight, blood pressure, insulin resistance, blood lipids, lipid oxidation and systemic inflammation.

Dr. Miguel Angel Martinez-Gonzalez is chairman of preventive medicine and public health at the Universidad de Navarra in Spain.

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