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Open AccessArticle

Increased Functional Foods’ Consumption and Mediterranean Diet Adherence May Have a Protective Effect in the Appearance of Gastrointestinal Diseases: A Case–Control Study

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Department of Food Science and Nutrition, University of the Aegean, Mitropoliti Ioakeim 2, 81400 Myrina, Limnos, Greece
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Department of Statistics and Insurance Science, University of Piraeus, Karaoli & Dimitriou 80, 18534 Piraeus, Greece
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G. Genimmatas Hospital, Leoforos Mesogeion 154, 11527 Athens, Greece
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Konstantopoulio General Hospital, Agias Olgas 3, Nea Ionia, 14233 Athens, Greece
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Ippokrateio Hospital of Thessaloniki, Konstantinoupoleos 49, 54642 Thessaloniki, Greece
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Medicines 2019, 6(2), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicines6020050
Received: 12 March 2019 / Revised: 25 March 2019 / Accepted: 2 April 2019 / Published: 9 April 2019
Background: Epidemiological studies have suggested a possible correlation between nutritional factors and gastrointestinal diseases. Methods: A case–control study was designed in order to investigate if functional foods consumption and Mediterranean diet adherence have a positive effect in ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and gastroesophageal reflux disease. In total, 142 patients (cases) and 147 gender-matched healthy people (controls) participated in the study. Functional food consumption was screened by using a Food Frequency Questionnaire based on the NHANES study, while Mediterranean diet adoption was evaluated by a 14-item Med Diet Assessment tool based on the PREDIMED study. The statistical analysis was performed with SPSS-22. Results: In the previous 2–3 years, the controls had more frequently consumed some categories (probiotics, prebiotics-enriched, and low-fat foods) and some kinds of functional foods (mountain tea, berries, pomegranate, oats, mastics, turmeric, soybeans, and raisins) compared to the cases (p < 0.05). Healthy people were more adherent to the Mediterranean diet than patients (p < 0.05). A multifactor analysis showed that the augmented score of the Mediterranean diet and the augmented consumption of categories and kinds of functional foods were protective factors in the appearance of gastrointestinal diseases. Conclusions: More studies should be conducted in order to further investigate the possible association between specific food components and gastrointestinal diseases’ pathophysiology. View Full-Text
Keywords: functional foods; Mediterranean diet; gastrointestinal diseases; case–control study functional foods; Mediterranean diet; gastrointestinal diseases; case–control study
MDPI and ACS Style

Elmaliklis, I.-N.; Liveri, A.; Ntelis, B.; Paraskeva, K.; Goulis, I.; Koutelidakis, A.E. Increased Functional Foods’ Consumption and Mediterranean Diet Adherence May Have a Protective Effect in the Appearance of Gastrointestinal Diseases: A Case–Control Study. Medicines 2019, 6, 50.

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