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Mediterranean Diet Helps Improve Sleep Apnea Symptoms In Obese People

November 2, 2011: 12:00 AM EST
A study by Greek scientists has found that eating a Mediterranean diet improves sleep apnea symptoms among obese people compared to a simply prudent diet. The researchers examined 40 obese patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). Half of the patients ate a prudent diet, and half followed a Mediterranean diet. Both groups walked for at least 30 minutes each day. While sleeping, all patients also wore a mask that generates an air stream, keeping the upper airway open. People who followed the Mediterranean diet had a reduced number of disturbances, or apneas, during the rapid eye movement (REM) stage of sleep (about 25 percent of total sleep). However, patients did not show an overall improvement in severity of the condition, researchers acknowledged.
C. Papandreou et al., "Effect of Mediterranean diet vs. prudent diet combined with physical activity on OSAS: a randomized trial", European Respiratory Journal, November 02, 2011, © European Respiratory Society
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