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Br J Nutr. 2019 Oct 28;122(8):873-883. doi: 10.1017/S0007114519001168. Epub 2019 Sep 23.

Effects of Mediterranean diet supplemented with lean pork on blood pressure and markers of cardiovascular risk: findings from the MedPork trial.

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Alliance for Research in Exercise, Nutrition and Activity, School of Health Sciences, University of South Australia, GPO Box 2471, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia.
School of Medical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Perth, WA 6000, Australia.
Medical School,University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Perth, WA 6000, Australia.
Flinders Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Flinders University, GPO Box 2100 Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia.
School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of South Australia, GPO Box 2471, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia.


The Mediterranean diet offers a range of health benefits. However, previous studies indicate that the restricted consumption of red meat in the diet may affect long-term sustainability in non-Mediterranean countries. A 24-week randomised controlled parallel cross-over design compared a Mediterranean diet supplemented with 2-3 serves per week of fresh, lean pork (MedPork) with a low-fat control diet (LF). Thirty-three participants at risk of CVD followed each intervention for 8 weeks, with an 8-week washout period separating interventions. The primary outcome was home-measured systolic blood pressure. Secondary outcomes included diastolic blood pressure, fasting lipids, glucose, insulin, C-reactive protein (CRP), body composition and dietary adherence. During the MedPork intervention, participants achieved high adherence to dietary guidelines. Compared with the MedPork intervention, the LF intervention led to greater reductions in weight (Δ = -0·65; 95 % CI -0·04, -1·25 kg, P = 0·04), BMI (Δ = -0·25; 95 % CI -0·03, -0·47 kg/m2, P = 0·01) and waist circumference (Δ = -1·40; 95 % CI -0·45, -2·34 cm, P < 0·01). No significant differences were observed for blood pressure, lipids, glucose, insulin or CRP. These findings indicate that Australians are capable of adhering to a Mediterranean diet with 2-3 weekly serves of fresh, lean pork. Larger intervention studies are now required to demonstrate clinical efficacy of the diet in populations with elevated blood pressure.


Blood pressure; CVD; Cardiovascular health; Mediterranean diet; Pork


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