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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2013, Article ID 707421, 14 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/707421
Review Article

Nutrition and Healthy Ageing: Calorie Restriction or Polyphenol-Rich “MediterrAsian” Diet?

Institute of Human Nutrition and Food Science, Christian-Albrechts University of Kiel, Hermann-Rodewald-Straße 6, 24118 Kiel, Germany

Received 20 June 2013; Accepted 26 July 2013

Academic Editor: David Vauzour

Copyright © 2013 Kathrin Pallauf et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Diet plays an important role in mammalian health and the prevention of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease (CVD). Incidence of CVD is low in many parts of Asia (e.g., Japan) and the Mediterranean area (e.g., Italy, Spain, Greece, and Turkey). The Asian and the Mediterranean diets are rich in fruit and vegetables, thereby providing high amounts of plant bioactives including polyphenols, glucosinolates, and antioxidant vitamins. Furthermore, oily fish which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids is an important part of the Asian (e.g., Japanese) and also of the Mediterranean diets. There are specific plant bioactives which predominantly occur in the Mediterranean (e.g., resveratrol from red wine, hydroxytyrosol, and oleuropein from olive oil) and in the Asian diets (e.g., isoflavones from soybean and epigallocatechin gallate from green tea). Interestingly, when compared to calorie restriction which has been repeatedly shown to increase healthspan, these polyphenols activate similar molecular targets such as Sirt1. We suggest that a so-called “MediterrAsian” diet combining sirtuin-activating foods (= sirtfoods) of the Asian as well as Mediterranean diet may be a promising dietary strategy in preventing chronic diseases, thereby ensuring health and healthy ageing. Future (human) studies are needed which take the concept suggested here of the MediterrAsian diet into account.