Adherence to a Mediterranean-Style Diet and Appendicular Lean Mass in Community-Dwelling Older People: Results From the Berlin Aging Study II

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Selected nutrients or food groups have often been studied with regard to long-term mortality and cardiovascular disease, whereas the relation between diet quality and appendicular lean mass (ALM) has rarely been researched.


The aim of this study was to explore the association between a Mediterranean-style diet and ALM in community-dwelling older people.


Cross-sectional data from the Berlin Aging Study II were available for 1,509 participants (51% women, 68.2±3.7 years). Nutrient intake was assessed using the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition Food Frequency Questionnaire. Adherence to a Mediterranean-style diet was evaluated with the modified Mediterranean-type diet score (mMedTypeDiet). ALM was determined by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and related to body mass index (ALM/BMI). A general linear regression model was carried out to assess the association between mMedTypeDiet score groups and ALM/BMI.


ALM/BMI was higher in women with a higher adherence to the mMedTypeDiet (0.64±0.1 vs 0.62±0.1 and 0.61±0.1 in low and medium adherence, retrospectively, p = .004). In the risk factor-adjusted general linear regression analysis, a higher adherence to the mMedTypeDiet was associated with higher ALM/BMI in women and better ALM/fat mass ratio when compared to a medium and a low diet quality. No significant associations were seen in men.


Higher adherence to a Mediterranean-style diet was associated with a positive effect on ALM/BMI in women.

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