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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(7), 11678-11699; doi:10.3390/ijms150711678

Mediterranean Diet and Health: Food Effects on Gut Microbiota and Disease Control

1
Unit of Metagenomics, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, IRCCS, Piazza Sant'Onofrio, Rome 400165, Italy
2
Interdepartmental Centre for Industrial Research-CIRI-AGRIFOOD, Alma Mater Studiorum, University of Bologna, Piazza Goidanich, Cesena-FC 47521, Italy
3
Scientific Directorate, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, IRCCS, Piazza Sant'Onofrio, Rome 400165, Italy
4
Unit of Parasitology, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, IRCCS, Piazza Sant'Onofrio, Rome 400165, Italy
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 April 2014 / Revised: 4 June 2014 / Accepted: 11 June 2014 / Published: 1 July 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Abstract

The Mediterranean diet (MD) is considered one of the healthiest dietary models. Many of the characteristic components of the MD have functional features with positive effects on health and wellness. The MD adherence, calculated through various computational scores, can lead to a reduction of the incidence of major diseases (e.g., cancers, metabolic and cardiovascular syndromes, neurodegenerative diseases, type 2 diabetes and allergy). Furthermore, eating habits are the main significant determinants of the microbial multiplicity of the gut, and dietary components influence both microbial populations and their metabolic activities from the early stages of life. For this purpose, we present a study proposal relying on the generation of individual gut microbiota maps from MD-aware children/adolescents. The maps, based on meta-omics approaches, may be considered as new tools, acting as a systems biology-based proof of evidence to evaluate MD effects on gut microbiota homeostasis. Data integration of food metabotypes and gut microbiota “enterotypes” may allow one to interpret MD adherence and its effects on health in a new way, employable for the design of targeted diets and nutraceutical interventions in childcare and clinical management of food-related diseases, whose onset has been significantly shifted early in life. View Full-Text
Keywords: Mediterranean diet (MD); Mediterranean diet patterns (MDP); nutritional algorithms; gut microbiota; food-related diseases; translational approaches; wellness therapy Mediterranean diet (MD); Mediterranean diet patterns (MDP); nutritional algorithms; gut microbiota; food-related diseases; translational approaches; wellness therapy
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Del Chierico, F.; Vernocchi, P.; Dallapiccola, B.; Putignani, L. Mediterranean Diet and Health: Food Effects on Gut Microbiota and Disease Control. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15, 11678-11699.

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