Mediterranean diet ‘linked to 23% lower risk of dementia’
According to scientists, a Mediterranean diet rich in nuts, seafood, whole grains and vegetables is associated with up to a 23% lower risk of dementia.
The results, published in the journal BMC Medicine, are based on data from more than 60,000 people from the UK Biobank – an online database containing the medical records and lifestyles of more than half a million Britons.
However, the researchers noted that the results are mainly based on European ancestry and that more studies across a broader range of populations are needed to determine the potential benefit.
However, they added that a Mediterranean diet high in plant-based foods could still be “an important intervention” as part of future public health strategies to reduce the risk of dementia.
dr Oliver Shannon, Lecturer in Human Nutrition and Aging at Newcastle University and lead author of the study, said: “Dementia affects the lives of millions of people around the world and there are currently limited options for treating this condition.
“Finding ways to reduce our risk of developing dementia is therefore a top priority for researchers and clinicians.
“Our study suggests that a more Mediterranean-style diet could be a strategy to help people reduce their risk of dementia.
dr Shannon and his colleagues analyzed data from 60,298 people who had done a nutritional analysis.
Researchers assessed individuals on two measures of Mediterranean diet adherence.
Over the course of nearly a decade, there have been 882 cases of dementia.
The authors also considered each individual’s genetic risk of dementia.
They found that people who followed a strict Mediterranean diet had a 23% lower risk of developing dementia than those who had a low adherence score.
The researchers also said that the Mediterranean diet had a “protective effect” against dementia regardless of a person’s genetic risk, but more studies are needed to examine this finding.
The co-author of the study, Dr. Janice Ranson, Research Fellow, University of Exeter, said: “The results of this large population-based study underscore the long-term brain health benefits of consuming a Mediterranean diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats.
“The protective effect of this diet against dementia was evident regardless of a person’s genetic risk, and therefore this is likely to be a beneficial lifestyle choice for people who want to make healthy dietary choices and reduce their risk of dementia.”
dr Commenting on the study, Susan Mitchell, Head of Policy at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “There is a wealth of evidence that a healthy, balanced diet can help reduce the risk of cognitive decline.
“But the evidence for specific diets is much less conclusive.
“This new, large study adds to that bigger picture, but it only relied on data from people of white, British or Irish ancestry.
“Further research is needed to build on the intriguing findings and determine whether these reported benefits also translate to minority communities, where dementia has historically been misunderstood and heavily stigmatized, and where there is increased awareness of how people reduce their risk.” can, is low.
“Although there aren’t yet any surefire ways to prevent dementia, a diet high in fruits and vegetables, as well as getting plenty of exercise and not smoking, all contribute to good heart health, which in turn helps protect our brains from diseases that lead to it.” towards dementia”.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/mediterranean-experts-uk-biobank-dementia-newcastle-university-b2300183.html Mediterranean diet ‘linked to 23% lower risk of dementia’