12. February 2009 03:46
New research from The Archives of Neurology
published February 10th suggest that eating a Mediterranean diet appears to lower risk for mental decline, and may help prevent Alzheimer’s in people with existing memory problems.
The findings tracked the eating habits of 1,393 people with no cognitive problems and 482 patients with mild cognitive impairment, a preliminary state of mental decline that can sometimes signal the onset of Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. Patients were grouped based on whether they were low, moderate or consistent followers of a Mediterranean diet which includes eating large amounts of fish, fruits, vegetables, legumes and monounsaturated fats like olive oil, while at the same time consuming moderate amounts of alcohol and only small quantities of meat and dairy products.
People who closely followed a Mediterranean diet had a 28 percent lower risk of developing mild cognitive impairment, compared to those whose eating habits were the least like a Mediterranean diet. Moderate followers of a Mediterranean diet showed a trend toward a 17 percent lower risk than the lowest-scoring group. Research has shown that eating a Mediterranean diet is good for heart health, and now there is no risk in improving eating habits in the hope of improving brain health as well.