Doctors are studying the impact of Mediterranean diets on dementia
Dementia is a widespread disease that often leads to death. Doctors have long been looking for ways to reduce the risk of developing the disease later in life. Researchers have now found that a Mediterranean diet can protect against dementia.
In their current study, scientists from the Alzheimer's Society found that a healthy Mediterranean diet can protect against the development of dementia. The doctors released a press release on the results of their study.
Mediterranean nutrition protects against heart attack and stroke
Although dementia has a genetic component, recent studies support the theory that lifestyle plays a greater role in determining risk. A so-called Mediterranean diet is often advertised for its health benefits and associated with a lower risk of stroke or heart attack. There is some evidence that such a diet can also reduce the risk of some forms of dementia.
How can I protect myself from dementia?
The best way to reduce the risk of developing dementia is to adjust various aspects of your lifestyle, including eating certain foods, exercising regularly, refraining from smoking, and maintaining normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
What does a Mediterranean diet include?
There is some evidence that a Mediterranean-style diet can reduce the risk of developing memory and thinking problems. This also reduces the risk of developing some forms of dementia, the doctors explain. A so-called Mediterranean diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes and cereals. It also contains moderate consumption of fatty fish and dairy products, little meat, sugar and saturated fat. Most of the fat in this type of diet comes from olive oil.
Mediterranean diet reduces risk of type 2 diabetes
Men from Mediterranean regions who followed the traditional diet had lower rates of heart attacks, the scientists report. Various studies have also shown that this type of diet is associated with reduced risks of stroke, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and premature death. These studies have also shown that tighter dietary compliance could result in a slower decline in memory and thinking.
Study was a systematic review
In a current study, all existing knowledge about the Mediterranean diet with regard to memory and thinking problems and dementia has been compiled. This is how the potential benefits of this type of diet should be assessed. Such an investigation is called a systematic review. This systematic review is a good tool for evaluating the existing evidence and understanding where there is a consensus, if there is one, the authors of the study explain.
Many studies were not taken into account in the current study, either because they were not carried out strictly enough or because the diet was not sufficiently taken into account. The evaluated studies seem to show a connection between the Mediterranean diet and lower memory and thinking problems.
Antioxidants protect the brain
High levels of antioxidants from consuming fruits and vegetables can help build protection against some of the damage to brain cells associated with Alzheimer's disease. Inflammation in the brain is generally associated with Alzheimer's. There is evidence that the Mediterranean diet reduces these inflammatory processes. This diet is also linked to lower cholesterol levels. According to recent research, high cholesterol levels can be associated with memory and thinking problems, the scientists explain.
Do people from the Mediterranean generally live healthier?
Although the results of this analysis of several studies are very promising, it is noteworthy that other large studies of recent times have not shown any similar trends. It is important to know that these were so-called observational studies. These could not determine a direct cause and effect. Mediterranean people could just have a healthier lifestyle that makes a difference in memory and thought problems. This difference does not have to be due to the diet alone, the authors explain. However, for most people, the Mediterranean diet remains a good way to ensure a healthy diet that can be important for maintaining brain function. (as)