Mediterranean diet linked to reduced risk of dementia

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There is no cure or proof way to prevent dementia, which affects 55 million people worldwide, but a number of studies have indicated that following a Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of developing the disease.

People who followed a Mediterranean diet most closely – rich in seafood and plant-based foods – had up to 23% lower risk of dementia than those who adhered less to the diet, according to the latest study. published Monday in the newspaper. BMC Medicine by an international team of researchers. In absolute terms, research found that sticking closely to a Mediterranean diet was equivalent to a 0.55% reduction in the risk of developing dementia.

The latest research involved 60,298 people who were part of the UK Biobank study and followed for a period of just over nine years. During the study period, there were 882 cases of dementia among the group. The individuals were between the ages of 40 and 69 and were white British or Irish. The extent to which they followed the Mediterranean diet was assessed using two different questionnaires that have been used extensively in previous diet studies, the researchers said.

“There is plenty of evidence that a healthy, balanced diet can help reduce the risk of cognitive decline. But the evidence for specific diets is much less clear,” said Susan Mitchell, policy manager at Alzheimer’s Research UK, in a statement. She did not participate in the research.

“This large new study adds to that overall picture, but it only relies on data from people of white, British or Irish ancestry,” she said. “Further research is needed to build on his intriguing findings and uncover whether these reported benefits also translate to minority communities, where historically dementia has often been misunderstood and heavily stigmatized, and where awareness of how people can reduce their risk is low.”

There is currently no magic bullet to stop dementia, but eating plenty of vegetables and fruit, exercising regularly, and not smoking are behaviors that contribute to heart health, which helps protect the brain diseases associated with dementia, she added.

The Mediterranean diet has an impressive list of science behind it. This way of eating can prevent cognitive decline but also help the heart, reduce diabetes, prevent bone loss, encourage weight loss and more, according to studies.

A study published on March 8 reveals people who ate Mediterranean foods and brain-focused MIND diets had fewer hallmark signs of Alzheimer’s disease — sticky plaques of beta-amyloid and tau tangles in the brain — at autopsy. Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia. The MIND diet, short for Mediterranean-DASH Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay.

The Mediterranean diet favors plant-based cuisine. The majority of every meal should consist of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and seeds, and some nuts. The focus is on extra virgin olive oil. Butter and other fats are eaten rarely, if at all. Sweets and products made from refined sugar or flour are rare.

Meat can make a rare appearance, but usually only to flavor a dish. Instead, meals may include eggs, dairy, and poultry, but in much smaller portions than in the traditional Western diet. However, fish, which is packed with brain-boosting omega-3s, is a staple.

Study participants who followed the diet most closely were more likely to be female, have a BMI in the healthy range, be more educated, and be more physically active than those who were less respectful of the regime.

David Curtis, honorary professor at the UCL Genetics Institute in London, who was not involved in the research, noted that the latest study was observational and did not reveal cause and effect. The finding could reflect a generally healthier lifestyle, he said.

“It is not clear that such a diet by itself reduces the risk of dementia, although it is plausible that it may. It is important to note that the study concerns all forms of dementia , not specifically Alzheimer’s disease In my opinion, if there is an effect of diet it is more likely to be on cardiovascular health in general and therefore to have an impact on dementia due to a vascular disease rather than Alzheimer’s disease.

Duane Mellor, Registered Dietitian and Lecturer at Aston University in Birmingham, UK, said the benefits of a Mediterranean diet are not limited to the nutrients provided by food.

“The Mediterranean way of eating isn’t just about food on plates, it’s about food-related social interactions, and people who socialize more have a lower risk of dementia and other conditions,” Mellor noted. , who did not participate in the research. A declaration.

“We need to think about how a Mediterranean-style diet can be adapted to the foods available and eaten in the UK, so that inclusive messages about healthy eating can be developed, which include the importance of the social aspects of sharing and consuming food with others.

The study tentatively suggested that adherence to a Mediterranean diet was linked to a reduced risk of dementia, even when an individual had an existing genetic risk for the disease.

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