Effects of a dietary intervention with Mediterranean and vegetarian diets on hormones that influence energy balance: results from the CARDIVEG study

Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2020 May;71(3):362-369. doi: 10.1080/09637486.2019.1658723. Epub 2019 Aug 28.


A randomised, open, crossover trial with two intervention periods was used to compare the effects of a 3-month dietary intervention with Mediterranean diet (MD) and vegetarian diet (VD) on hormones that influence energy balance, and to investigate the relationship with changes in body composition. After 3 months, no significant differences between the two diets were observed. Both MD and VD resulted in a significant (p < .05) reduction in leptin-to-adiponectin ratio and anthropometric parameters, MD resulted in a significant decrease in leptin levels (-7.4%), while VD determined a significant increase in adiponectin (+6.8%) and a significant decrease in visfatin (-12.7%) levels. In both groups, changes in leptin, insulin and HOMA-IR were significantly and positively correlated with changes in anthropometric parameters. In conclusion, both MD and VD have led to a slight but significant improvement in hormones that influence energy balance. The effect was more evident in participants who lost weight and fat mass.

Keywords: Mediterranean diet; Trial; hormones; vegetarian diet.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Diet, Mediterranean*
  • Diet, Vegetarian*
  • Energy Metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Overweight
  • Weight Loss
  • Young Adult