The Mediterranean Lifestyle as a Non-Pharmacological and Natural Antioxidant for Healthy Aging

Antioxidants (Basel). 2015 Nov 12;4(4):719-36. doi: 10.3390/antiox4040719.


Oxidative stress has been suggested to affect age-associated physiological dysfunction. Therefore, it is speculated that antioxidant supplements could have a potential role in preventing age-related diseases and death. Among different dietary habits, the highly antioxidant Mediterranean dietary pattern, which includes high vegetable and fruit intake, consumption of legumes, cereals, and fish, low intake of meat and dairy derivatives, moderate red wine consumption, and use of extra-virgin olive oil, is characterized by other aspects than food, such as conviviality, sensory stimulation, socialization, biodiversity, and seasonality that can reinforce the Mediterranean diet's (MeD) beneficial effects on wellbeing, quality of life, and healthy aging. The present review aims to discuss available data on the relationship between oxidative stress and aging, biomarkers of oxidative stress status, protective effects of the MeD, and the adoption of the Mediterranean lifestyle as a non-pharmacological and natural tool to cope with oxidative stress damage for a longer life span, and-even more important-healthy aging beyond the biological, psychological, and social challenges that old age entails.

Keywords: Mediterranean diet; aging; antioxidants; chronic degenerative diseases; oxidative stress.

Publication types

  • Review