Effects of Mediterranean diet in patients with recurring colds and frequent complications

Allergol Immunopathol (Madr). 2017 Sep-Oct;45(5):417-424. doi: 10.1016/j.aller.2016.08.006. Epub 2016 Dec 7.


Introduction: In recent years, traditional diets enriched with fresh plant-based foods have been gradually abandoned, increasing the consumption of animal foods and highly processed food. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of a nutritional intervention with a Traditional Mediterranean Diet in patients with recurring colds (RC) and frequent inflammatory complications (IC).

Methods: Prospective before-after comparison study of 63 girls and 65 boys aged 1-5 years were included over a year in the nutritional programme "Learning to eat from the Mediterranean". We studied clinical and therapeutic variables and various anthropometric parameters.

Results: All the studied indicators (number of catarrhal episodes CB, degree of intensity, emergency and hospital admissions) showed a positive and statistically significant evolution, evidenced from the first weeks of starting treatment, until the end of the year, after which 53.9% of patients had no CB, 25% had only one, and 16.4% had two episodes, compared to the 4.64 episodes on average in the previous year. Antibiotic use decreased by 87.4%, from 3.85±1.27 times/patient/year to 0.49±0.79 (p<0.001). Symptomatic treatment decreased by 56.7%, from 7.03±2.76 to 3.05±1.69 (p<0.001). The satisfaction of the families was very high. The Kidmed index, which assesses the quality of the Mediterranean Diet, increased from 7.8 to 10.9 points.

Conclusion: The adoption of a Traditional Mediterranean Diet could be a major contribution to the improvement of patients with recurring colds and frequent inflammatory complications.

Keywords: Mediterranean diet; Nutrition assessment; Nutrition programme; Recurring colds; Traditional diet.

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Common Cold / diet therapy*
  • Controlled Before-After Studies
  • Diet, Mediterranean*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Otitis Media / diet therapy*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recurrence
  • Rhinitis / diet therapy*
  • Sinusitis / diet therapy*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires