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Overview of Human Intervention Studies Evaluating the Impact of the Mediterranean Diet on Markers of DNA Damage

Del Bo', Cristian, Marino, Mirko, Martini, Daniela, Tucci, Massimiliano, Ciappellano, Salvatore, Riso, Patrizia, Porrini, Marisa
Nutrients 2019 v.11 no.2
DNA damage, DNA repair, Mediterranean diet, alcohol drinking, beans, bioactive compounds, dairy products, eating habits, fruits, gene expression, grains, humans, lean fish, nuts, olive oil, oxidative stress, potatoes, poultry, protective effect, red meat, telomeres
The Mediterranean diet (MD) is characterized by high consumption of fruits, vegetables, cereals, potatoes, poultry, beans, nuts, lean fish, dairy products, small quantities of red meat, moderate alcohol consumption, and olive oil. Most of these foods are rich sources of bioactive compounds which may play a role in the protection of oxidative stress including DNA damage. The present review provides a summary of the evidence deriving from human intervention studies aimed at evaluating the impact of Mediterranean diet on markers of DNA damage, DNA repair, and telomere length. The few results available show a general protective effect of MD alone, or in combination with bioactive-rich foods, on DNA damage. In particular, the studies reported a reduction in the levels of 8-hydroxy-2′–deoxyguanosine and a modulation of DNA repair gene expression and telomere length. In conclusion, despite the limited literature available, the results obtained seem to support the beneficial effects of MD dietary pattern in the protection against DNA damage susceptibility. However, further well-controlled interventions are desirable in order to confirm the results obtained and provide evidence-based conclusions.