Nutrition and Clinical Trials: Latest Clinical Research on Diet's Role in Disease

Nutrition and Clinical Trials: Latest Clinical Research on Diet's Role in Disease

Nutrition's impact on health and disease management is increasingly recognized as critical. This article delves deeper into significant studies that link diet to various diseases, emphasizing the role of nutrition in clinical trials. These insights are pivotal for understanding how dietary habits influence health outcomes.

The Role of Nutrition in Disease Management and Prevention

Nutrition transcends mere weight management, playing a vital role in both the prevention and treatment of various diseases. With a growing body of research, clinical trials are now focusing more on dietary changes to improve health outcomes. In this article, we will explore some examples of recent clinical research on nutrition.

Mediterranean Diet in Cardiovascular Disease Prevention

The research titled "Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet Supplemented with Extra-Virgin Olive Oil or Nuts" by Estruch et al. (2013) involved 7,447 participants at high cardiovascular risk but without cardiovascular disease at enrollment. They were assigned to either a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts, or a control diet that advised reduced dietary fat. The study measured major cardiovascular events like myocardial infarction, stroke, or death from cardiovascular causes.

Over a median follow-up of 4.8 years, the incidence of major cardiovascular events was lower in groups following the Mediterranean diets. Specifically, the Mediterranean diet with extra-virgin olive oil showed a 31% lower risk, and the one with nuts showed a 28% lower risk, compared to the control diet. This indicates the potential efficacy of these diets in preventing cardiovascular diseases in high-risk individuals.

The study underscores the importance of dietary patterns in cardiovascular health, suggesting that adopting a Mediterranean diet could be a key strategy in the primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases.

Plant-Based Diets and Type 2 Diabetes Management

The study "Plant-Based Dietary Patterns and Incidence of type 2 Diabetes in US Men and Women" included data from 69,949 women and 40,539 men, all free of chronic diseases at baseline. Satija et al. (2016) assessed the quality of plant-based diets and their association with the incidence of type 2 diabetes (T2D).

The study found that high-quality plant-based diets were inversely associated with T2D incidence. Specifically, the most healthful plant-based diet index was associated with a 45% lower risk of T2D compared to the least healthy. Even after adjusting for body mass index (BMI), this association remained significant, underscoring the importance of diet quality in T2D prevention.

This study supports the role of quality plant-based diets in reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, highlighting the importance of dietary choices in diabetes management and prevention.

Nutritional Approaches to Cancer Treatment

A cancer research study, "Nutrition and physical activity guidelines for cancer survivors" focused on evaluating the scientific evidence and best clinical practices related to optimal nutrition and physical activity after a cancer diagnosis. The American Cancer Society (ACS) convened a group of experts for this purpose.

The report by Rock et al. (2017) summarizes the findings and is intended to guide healthcare providers in helping cancer survivors and their families make informed choices about nutrition and physical activity. It emphasizes the importance of dietary and physical activity interventions in improving treatment outcomes, quality of life, and overall survival for cancer survivors.

Impact of Diet on Mental Health

"A randomized controlled trial of dietary improvement for adults with major depression (the 'SMILES' trial)" was a 12-week study involving 67 participants with moderate to severe depression. The intervention group received individual nutritional consulting sessions focusing on dietary improvement.

The dietary support group showed significantly greater improvement in depression symptoms compared to the control group. Notably, 32.3% of the intervention group achieved remission, defined as a significant reduction in depression scores.

These results indicate that dietary improvement can be an effective and accessible treatment strategy for managing depression (Jacka et al., 2017). This approach could also be beneficial in managing common co-morbidities associated with depression.

The Importance of Nutrition in Clinical Trials

Clinical trials focusing on dietary interventions provide crucial insights into improving health outcomes through diet. The emerging research on nutrition and disease highlights the importance of dietary considerations in clinical trial design and incorporating nutrition into comprehensive treatment strategies.

If you are interested in joining a study, you can use to search clinical trials near you and learn more about what is available.

You can also sign up now to receive alerts for when clinical trials begin recruiting near you.

  • Estruch, R., Ros, E., Salas-Salvadó, J., Covas, M. I., Corella, D., Arós, F., ... & Martínez-González, M. A. (2013). Primary prevention of cardiovascular disease with a Mediterranean diet. New England Journal of Medicine, 368(14), 1279-1290. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1200303
  • Satija, A., Bhupathiraju, S. N., Rimm, E. B., Spiegelman, D., Chiuve, S. E., Borgi, L., ... & Willett, W. C. (2016). Plant-based dietary patterns and incidence of Type 2 diabetes in US men and women: results from three prospective cohort studies. Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine, 176(8), 1230-1238. DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.2519
  • Rock, C. L., Doyle, C., Demark-Wahnefried, W., Meyerhardt, J., Courneya, K. S., Schwartz, A. L., ... & Gansler, T. (2017). Nutrition and physical activity guidelines for cancer survivors. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 35(17), 1999-2010. DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2017.73.0345
  • Jacka, F. N., O’Neil, A., Opie, R., Itsiopoulos, C., Cotton, S., Mohebbi, M., ... & Berk, M. (2017). A randomised controlled trial of dietary improvement for adults with major depression (the ‘SMILES’ trial). American Journal of Psychiatry, 174(9), 862-871. DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2016.16050547