A study from Lleida determines the positive effect of the Mediterranean diet and the practice of physical exercise on lung function in healthy people

The research has been carried out with 3.020 people who have participated in the project 'The Bus of Health'

A study conducted by Lleida researchers from the University of Lleida (UdL), the University Hospital Arnau de Vilanova de Lleida (HUAV) and the Biomedical Research Institute of Lleida (IRBLleida) provides evidence on the harmful effect of low adherence to the diet Mediterranean and the little practice of physical activity in lung function in patients without known lung disease. Specifically, participants with a lower degree of adherence to the food pattern in the Mediterranean area have lower values of spirometric parameters, such as forced vital capacity and peak expiratory volume in the first second. In addition, the lower the physical activity performed, the worse the spirometric values presented. These results have been more marked among women.

The research group led by the head of the Endocrinology Service of the HUAV, Albert Lecube has carried out the study with 3,020 people who have been summoned to participate in 'The Bus of Health', a medical project that allows to know the state of Arterial health (to assess the possibility of what is known as atheromatous disease) and the detection of occult kidney disease and diabetes in the population of Lleida.

Different studies have shown a lower mortality for cardiovascular diseases in people who follow the Mediterranean diet. A beneficial effect has also been evidenced between the adherence of the Mediterranean diet and lung function in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), but until now, there was no research conducted on the relationship between the Mediterranean diet and healthy populations without pulmonary disease. The practice of physical activity with lung function had not been evaluated either.

Therefore, the main objective of this study is to evaluate the associations between adherence to the Mediterranean diet and the practice of physical activity in lung function in a large population with low or moderate cardiovascular risk. After the results obtained, which confirms the positive effect of a healthy lifestyle on lung function in healthy people, the researchers plan future studies to confirm the effectiveness of diet and physical activity in the prevention of respiratory disorders.

Reference article: Gutiérrez-Carrasquilla, L.; Sánchez, E.; Hernández, M.; Polanco, D.; Salas-Salvadó, J.; Betriu, À.; Gaeta, A.M.; Carmona, P.; Purroy, F.; Pamplona, R.; Farràs, C.; López-Cano, C.; Fernández, E.; Lecube, A. Effects of Mediterranean Diet and Physical Activity on Pulmonary Function: A Cross-Sectional Analysis in the ILERVAS Project. Nutrients 2019, 11, 329.

Text: Communication and Press IRBLleida