A Mediterranean-type diet has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and dementia. Now add peripheral artery disease to the list.

A study published as a Research Letter in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that Spaniards randomly assigned to a Mediterranean diet with extra olive oil or nuts instead of to a low-fat control diet were less likely to develop this painful condition.

Peripheral artery disease (or PAD) reduces blood flow to the extremities, especially the legs. Without adequate circulation, walking can be difficult and painful. Other symptoms may include cold feet, numbness, weakness, leg cramping and sores that don’t heal.

Those who got extra olive oil on top of the standard Mediterranean diet were 66% less likely to develop symptoms of PAD during the roughly five years of follow-up. 

[JAMA, Jan. 22/29, 2014]

Enjoying delicious Mediterranean-style meals with friends and family and staying active sound like a great prescription for artery health, with no unpleasant side effects. If you would like guidance on what constitutes a Mediterranean diet, we offer our book, The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies, as a resource. In it, we describe the DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), the low-carb diet and the Mediterranean diet.

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  1. JA
    Reply

    I have collagenous colitis and wondered if it would be helpful to take a tablespoon of olive oil daily to get the omega 3 that I need? I am having trouble with getting a diet right to control the diarrhea so feel I need to add the olive oil in this way.

  2. fbl
    Reply

    Betty I’ve seen folks in my Dr.’s office getting IV chelation therapy for PAD and it works!
    I’ve been through it for myself after a seat belt injury gave me a 70% blockage in my “widow maker” artery. It works! Seven years later and the artery is still good.
    My hubby went through it almost 20 years ago for blockage in his leg. No problems since.

  3. Betty France
    Reply

    What if you already have PAD. Does it help reduce the problems associated, or does it only help prevent?

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