15 February 2009

Mediterranean diet may benefit brain

Mediterranean diet associated with lower risk of cognitive impairment
Archives of Neurology: 9 February 2009
Eating a Mediterranean diet appears to be associated with less risk of mild cognitive impairment—a stage between normal aging and dementia—or of transitioning from mild cognitive impairment into Alzheimer's disease, according to a report in the February issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

"Among behavioral traits, diet may play an important role in the cause and prevention of Alzheimer's disease," the authors write as background information in the article. Previous studies have shown a lower risk for Alzheimer's disease among those who eat a Mediterranean diet, characterized by high intakes of fish, vegetables, legumes, fruits, cereals and unsaturated fatty acids, low intakes of dairy products, meat and saturated fats and moderate alcohol consumption. … > full story : MedPage Today Teaching Brief

Read past stories on the Mediterranean diet

Comment from Alzheimer's Australia Research Officer, Michele Hawkins: For quite some time the Mediterranean diet has attracted attention for its potential to prevent cardiovascular disease, some types of cancer, etc. The Mediterranean diet consists of a high intake of fish, vegetables, legumes, fruits, cereals, and unsaturated fatty acids (mostly olive oil), low intake of dairy products, meat, and saturated fatty acids, and a regular but moderate intake of alcohol.
There has been continuing interest in whether the Mediterranean diet might also prevent or ameliorate mild cognitive impairment and dementia.

Nikolaos Scarmeas, from Columbia University, headed a team of researchers whose objective was to investigate whether there is an association between high levels of adherence to the Mediterranean diet and mild cognitive impairment, which is thought to be a precursor to dementia.
The team studied data from 1393 cognitively normal people who participated in a multi-ethnic community study, the Washington Heights–Inwood Columbia Aging Project. The data were collected from participants of two related cohorts recruited in 1992 and 1999. Participants were followed up at one and a half yearly intervals. Taking into account a number of variables, such as age, sex, ethnicity, education, daily calorie intake, and body mass index, the team examined the incidence of mild cognitive impairment and the rate of progression from mild cognitive impairment to dementia. The participants were grouped according to how closely they adhered to the Mediterranean diet: greatest adherence, least, and between.

The results showed a definite trend: the more closely participants adhered to the diet, the less risk they had of developing mild cognitive impairment. Thus, those who had the highest levels of adherence to the diet had 28% less risk of developing mild cognitive impairment than those with the lowest levels of adherence, and those whose adherence was between the lowest and highest had 17% less risk.

Four hundred and eighty-two participants in the study had mild cognitive impartment; 106 of these developed Alzheimer’s disease between 1 and 14 years from the beginning of the study, and, again, the trend showed that the closer the adherence to the diet, the lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Participants in the group with greatest adherence to the diet had 48% less risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease than those with the lowest adherence, and those in the in-between group had 45% less risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
The researchers concluded that those who adhere closely to the Mediterranean diet are at less risk of developing mild cognitive impairment, and that those with mild cognitive impairment are at less risk of going on to develop Alzheimer’s disease.

comment added: 7 March 2009

No comments:

Post a Comment

Alzheimer's Australia NSW

Alzheimer's Australia NSW
Alzheimer's Australia NSW

Latest headlines from Library News

Library News

Total Pageviews