Nutrition and healthy ageing: calorie restriction or polyphenol-rich "MediterrAsian" diet?

Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2013:2013:707421. doi: 10.1155/2013/707421. Epub 2013 Aug 28.


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.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology*
  • Antioxidants
  • Caloric Restriction*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Diet
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Fruit
  • Humans
  • Polyphenols*
  • Vegetables


  • Antioxidants
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Polyphenols