Just Published NUTRIENT Trial: Mediterranean Diet Intervention in MPNs

  • MPNRF | July 25, 2023

    Just Published NUTRIENT Trial: Mediterranean Diet Intervention in MPNs

    The Mediterranean diet has long been associated with disease fighting anti-inflammatory benefits. In recent years, it has become a standard component of care for the prevention and management of many chronic conditions, such as cardiovascular disease. It has not yet entered the treatment algorithm for MPNs, although chronic inflammation is integral to the development of these clonal hematologic disorders.

    JAK inhibitors, such as ruxolitinib, can reduce the inflammatory response, but not without significant side effects. Nutrition is a low-risk MPN treatment approach to reduce inflammation and improve symptoms.

    Along with other chronic clonal hematologic disorders, MPNs lie at the intersection between malignancy and chronic inflammatory disease, according to Angela Fleischman, MD, PhD, with chronic inflammation responsible for many of the clinical consequences of these blood disorders. 

    Dr. Fleischman, an MPN specialist at University of California, Irvine, is a leader in connecting the fresh foods Mediterranean diet with symptom improvement in people living with essential thrombocythemia (ET), polycythemia vera (PV), and myelofibrosis (MF).

    In this latest study, she and her collaborators examined how effective education would be in changing MPN patients’ eating habits to align with the Mediterranean diet.

    Dr. Fleischman et al reported results of the NUTRIENT trial, based on work funded in part by MPNRF through a 2017-2019 Challenge award. The research established that a Mediterranean diet intervention is in fact feasible in the MPN patient population and can improve symptom burden.

    The authors conclude: “These findings warrant large dietary interventions in patients with clonal hematologic disorders to test the utility of diet in improvement of clinical outcomes.”

    NUTRIENT was a randomized, parallel-arm study to determine the feasibility of an education-focused Mediterranean diet intervention among MPN patients. Patients were divided into one of two groups, the Mediterranean diet or USDA nutritional guidelines. Groups received equal but separate education with registered dietician counseling and written dietary resources. Results showed a significantly larger number of participants in the Mediterranean diet group were adherent to the assigned eating pattern over the entire15-week study period. 

    “Diet interventions may be further developed as a component of MPN care, and potentially even be incorporated into the management of other chronic clonal hematologic conditions,” according to a published preprint of the study results.  

     The full preprint can be found here.