There is no proven treatment or way to prevent dementia It affects 55 million people worldwideHowever, several studies claim that a Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of disease.
According to Latest studyPublished by an international team of researchers in the journal BMC Medicine. In absolute terms, a Mediterranean diet was found to equate to a 0.55% reduction in the risk of dementia.
The latest investigation included 60,298 people who were part of the UK biobank study They were followed over a period of just over nine years. During the study, 882 cases of dementia emerged among the group. Participants ranged in age from 40 to 69 years, and were British or Caucasian-Irish. The researchers indicated that their adherence to the Mediterranean diet was assessed using two different questionnaires, widely used in previous diet studies.
There is plenty of evidence that eating a healthy, balanced diet can help reduce the risk of cognitive decline. The evidence for specific diets is less clear, Suzanne Mitchell, head of policy at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said in a statement. Did not participate in the research.
“This comprehensive new study adds to this overall picture, but it was only based on data from people of Caucasian, British or Irish descent,” he said. “More research is needed to build on its intriguing findings and see if the reported benefits also apply in minority communities, where historically dementia is often misunderstood and heavily stigmatized, and where awareness of how people reduce risk is low.”
He added that there is no magic solution to end dementia, but eating plenty of vegetables and fruits, practicing regular physical activity and not smoking are behaviors that contribute to heart health, which helps protect the brain from dementia-related diseases.
What foods are included in the Mediterranean diet?
The Mediterranean diet has an impressive list of science behind it. This way of eating can prevent cognitive decline, but it also protects the heart, curbs diabetes, prevents bone loss, promotes weight loss and more, according to studies.
A study published March 8 found that people who ate foods from the Mediterranean diet and MIND, which promote brain health, had fewer hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease — beta-amyloid and tau protein plaques in the brain — at autopsy. Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia. MIND is an acronym for Mediterranean-Dash Diet Intervention for Delaying Neurodegeneration.
The Mediterranean diet focuses on a vegetarian diet. Most meals include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and seeds, along with some nuts. Extra virgin olive oil is an essential ingredient. Butter and other fats are rarely eaten. Sweets and products made with refined sugar or white flour are rare.
Meat may appear from time to time, but it usually only adds flavor to the dish. Alternatively, meals could include eggs, dairy and poultry, but in much smaller quantities than in a traditional Western diet. However, fish rich in omega-3, which are brain stimulants, is a staple food.
Study participants who adhered to the diet more strictly were more likely to be female, with a BMI in the healthy range, higher education level, and more physically active than those who adhered less to the diet.
David Curtis, professor emeritus at the UCL Genetic Institute in London, who was not involved in the research, noted that the latest study was observational and did not find cause and effect. He said the findings may reflect a healthier lifestyle in general.
“It is not clear that this diet by itself reduces the risk of dementia, although it is plausible that it could. It is important to note that the study concerned all forms of dementia, not Alzheimer’s disease specifically. In my opinion, if there is any It is more likely to have an effect of diet on overall cardiovascular health, and therefore has more of an impact on dementia due to vascular disease than on Alzheimer’s disease.”
The social component of the Mediterranean diet
Duane Mellor, a nutritionist and professor at Aston University in Birmingham, UK, points out that the benefits of the Mediterranean diet are not limited to the nutrients provided by the food.
said Mellor, who was not involved in the research.
“We need to look at how the Mediterranean diet can be adapted to the foods that are available and consumed in the UK, so that comprehensive messages around healthy eating can be developed, which include the importance of the social aspects of sharing and eating food with others.”
The study suggested that following a Mediterranean diet was associated with a lower risk of dementia, even when there was a higher genetic risk of developing the disease.
* Sandy Lamott contributed to this article
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