3rd World Science & Wine: Sustainability of wine production and food systems in the Mediterranean region

As promised, we will maintain the organization of the World Congress every two years. The 3rd World Science & Wine Congress will be from 14 to 16 June 2023 in Vila Nova De Gaia and the Douro region. The topic for this scientific meeting here will be “Sustainability of wine production and food systems in the Mediterranean region”.

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Interest of polyphenols in the prevention of age-related diseases and in regenerative medicine

7-ketocholesterol and 7β-hydroxycholesterol are two oxysterols mainly formed by the autoxidation of cholesterol. These two molecules are interconvertible via specific enzymes. These two oxysterols are often observed at increased amounts in biological fluids as well as tissues and organs affected during age-related diseases and in diseases of civilization such as cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, and ocular diseases as well as type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Many nutrients present in significant amounts in the Mediterranean diet, especially tocopherols, fatty acids, and polyphenols, have shown cytoprotective activities as well as several Mediterranean oils (argan and olive oils, milk thistle seed oil, and pistacia lentiscus seed oil). Consequently, a nutraceutical approach, rich in nutrients present in the Mediterranean diet, could thus make it possible to counteract certain age-related and civilization diseases associated with increased levels of 7-ketocholesterol and 7β-hydroxycholesterol.

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Influence of Mediterranean Diet on Human Gut Microbiota

Gut microbiota changes correlate with health status. Literature data on gut microbiota show that all dietary changes can induce the alteration of gut microbiota composition. Mediterranean diet (MD) is associated with a reduction of all-cause mortality and in this review, Giuseppe Merra and collaborators analyzed its interactions with human microbiota. In particular, they explored the modulation of the human microbiota, in response to MD adherence, focusing the attention on polyphenols, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA)ω-3 and fiber. Evidences suggest that MD is able to modulate the gut microbiota, increasing its diversity. In fact, a Mediterranean-type dietary pattern is associated with specific gut microbiota characteristics. The available evidence, suggests that gut microbiota of subjects that follow a MD is significantly different from subjects that follow a Western diet model.

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Food Habits of the Mediterranean Diet are Associated with Better Metabolic Features in Youths with Type 1 Diabetes

The aim of this study was to evaluate adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) among children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes (T1D) in relation to metabolic control. Adherence to the MedDiet was assessed with the Mediterranean Diet Quality Index (KIDMED) questionnaire and physical activity by the International Physical Activity Questionnaire for Adolescent (IPAQ-A) on 65 subjects (32 males, 9–18 years) with T1D. The promotion of the MedDiet, mainly having a healthy breakfast, is a good strategy to include in the management of T1D to improve glucose and metabolic control. This research is valuable for parents to obtain the best results for their children with T1D.

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Mediterranean Diet and Risk of COVID-19

Mediterranean dietary pattern is more important than that of its individual food groups. On one hand, for some foods, there was not a big difference between the most extreme consumption categories; therefore, the effect of high or low consumption would be more difficult to be observed. As more foods are included, these differences will grow. On the other hand, although we found a significant inverse association between dairy products and COVID-19, the effect of the Mediterranean diet is the combined effect of all its components, which can combine and enhance each other. Undoubtedly, the recommendation of a complete pattern is much more effective than that of isolated foods.

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Anthocyanins from Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet (MD) is becoming a milestone for the prevention of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Ancel Keys in the 1950’s showed a low mortality rate, particularly for coronary heart disease, among people resident in the Mediterranean area. The MD is characterized by the intake of the high amount of vegetables, fruit, and cereals and regular but moderate consumption of wine, fish, and dairy products, while olive oil is the main source of culinary fat. Therefore, it is principally a plant-based diet rich in polyphenols, a heterogeneous category of compounds with different properties and bioavailabilities. Among polyphenols, anthocyanins have been combined into the human food regime for centuries. They have been utilized as traditional herbal remedies for their ability to treat several conditions, as potent anti-oxidants, anti-diabetic and anti-carcinogenic compounds. This review summarizes our knowledge on the health-enhancing component of the anthocyanins-rich diet.

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Adherence to the Mediterranean Diet in a Portuguese Immigrant Community in the Central Valley of California

The Mediterranean Diet (MedDiet) is a healthy eating pattern associated with a better quality of life among older adults and reduced risk of non-communicable diseases. Little is known about the MedDiet in immigrant communities from countries in which the MedDiet is a settled cultural heritage. In this work authors examined MedDiet adherence and perceived knowledge, benefits, and barriers to the MedDiet in a Portuguese immigrant community in Turlock, California. Participants in Turlock had greater MedDiet adherence despite lower education attainment. Furthermore, the perceived benefits of the MedDiet were key factors in MedDiet perception and adherence in a Portuguese immigrant community.

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Combined effect of Mediterranean diet and weight loss on clinical status in patients with inherited heart muscle disease (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy)

This post reposts the results of a study aimed to evaluate the impact of weight loss (WL) using a Mediterranean diet and mild-to-moderate-intensity aerobic exercise program, on clinical status of obese, symptomatic patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). The authors found that Mediterranean diet and aerobic exercise is associated with clinical-hemodynamic improvement in obese symptomatic HCM patients.

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Polyphenols & the Mediterranean Diet: Blueberries as part of a Healthy Diet

Consuming polyphenol-rich fruits and vegetables, including blueberries, is associated with beneficial health outcomes. Interest in enhancing polyphenol intakes via dietary supplements has grown, though differences in fruit versus supplement matrix on gut microbiota and ultimate phenolic metabolism to bioactive metabolites are unknown. This post summarizes the results of an in vivo study where it was found that gut microbial populations showed increased diversity at moderate doses but decreased diversity at high doses. Urinary phenolic metabolites were primarily observed as microbially derived metabolites and underwent extensive host xenobiotic phase II metabolism. Thus, blueberry polyphenols in fruit and supplements induce differences in gut microbial communities and phenolic metabolism, which may alter intended health effect.

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