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Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Nov;82(5):964-71.

The Medi-RIVAGE study: reduction of cardiovascular disease risk factors after a 3-mo intervention with a Mediterranean-type diet or a low-fat diet.

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  • 1Human Nutrition and Lipids Joint Research Unit 476-INSERM, National Institute of Health and Medical Research/1260-National Institute of Agronomic Research, Faculty of Medicine Timone, Université de la Méditerranée, Marseille, France.



Epidemiologic studies link Mediterranean-type diets to a low incidence of cardiovascular disease; however, few dietary intervention studies have been undertaken, especially in primary prevention.


In the Mediterranean Diet, Cardiovascular Risks and Gene Polymorphisms (Medi-RIVAGE) study, the effects of a Mediterranean-type diet (Med group) or a low-fat diet (low-fat group) on risk factors were evaluated in 212 volunteers (men and women) with moderate risk factors for cardiovascular disease.


After the 3-mo dietary intervention, changes in many risk factors were evaluated. Dietary questionnaires and plasma nutritional markers were used to test compliance.


Although the dietary goals were only partially reached, changes in dietary habits were observed in both groups (n = 169): protein, carbohydrate, and fiber intakes increased and fat quality (decreased saturated fat and increased monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fat) improved. BMI, total and triacylglycerol-rich lipoprotein (TRL) cholesterol, triacylglycerols, TRL triacylglycerols, apolipoproteins A-I and B, insulinemia, glycemia, and the homeostasis model assessment score were significantly lower after 3 mo. The reductions in total cholesterol, triacylglycerols, and insulinemia remained significant after adjustment for BMI. There was a trend for a diet-by-time interaction for LDL cholesterol (P = 0.09). Our data predicted a 9% reduction in cardiovascular disease risk with the low-fat diet and a 15% reduction with this particular Mediterranean diet.


After a 3-mo intervention, both diets significantly reduced cardiovascular disease risk factors to an overall comparable extent.

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