Published on: September 6, 2013
by Health 24:
Eating a Mediterranean diet may be good for your brain and might reduce the risk of dementia, a new review suggests.
A Mediterranean diet includes higher amounts of olive oil, vegetables, fruit and fish. Higher adherence to the diet involves more consumption of fruit and vegetables and fish, and less consumption of meat and dairy products.
Researchers analysed data from 11 observational studies and one randomised controlled trial. Nine studies found that people with higher adherence to a Mediterranean diet had better brain function, lower rates of mental decline and a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
However, close adherence to a Mediterranean diet had an inconsistent effect on mild cognitive impairment, according to the article in the current issue of the journalEpidemiology.
Many studies have linked a Mediterranean diet to a lower risk of age-related diseases such as dementia, but this is the first systematic review of such research, according to the British researchers at the University of Exeter and colleagues.
“Mediterranean food is both delicious and nutritious, and our systematic review shows it may help to protect the ageing brain by reducing the risk of dementia. While the link between adherence to a Mediterranean diet and dementia risk is not new, ours is the first study to systematically analyze all existing evidence,” review leader Iliana Lourida said in a university news release.
While the new research uncovered a link between the Mediterranean diet and brain health, it didn’t prove a cause-and-effect relationship.
Lourida is with the UK’s National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care in the South West Peninsula.
“Our review also highlights inconsistencies in the literature and the need for further research. In particular, research is needed to clarify the association with mild cognitive impairment and vascular dementia,” she said. “It is also important to note that while observational studies provide suggestive evidence, we now need randomised controlled trials to confirm whether or not adherence to a Mediterranean diet protects against dementia.”
Older people who report greater levels of social engagement have more robust gray matter in regions of the brain relevant in dementia, according to new research led by scientists at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of...
In a new study, University of Nebraska–Lincoln sociologist Marc A. Garcia explored how educational attainment can benefit cognitive health in later life, and whether there are differences in its benefits among minorities. Garcia and his co-authors...
A genetic variation in some people may be associated with cognitive decline that can’t be explained by deposits of two key proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease, amyloid β and tau, according to a study...
The material presented through the Think Tank feature on this website is in no way intended to replace professional medical care or attention by a qualified practitioner. WBHI strongly advises all questioners and viewers using this feature with health problems to consult a qualified physician, especially before starting any treatment. The materials provided on this website cannot and should not be used as a basis for diagnosis or choice of treatment. The materials are not exhaustive and cannot always respect all the most recent research in all areas of medicine.