A promising early study that could pave the way for new preventive treatments suggests that a Mediterranean diet of nuts, seafood, whole grains, and vegetables could lower the risk of dementia by almost a quarter. Data from more than 60,000 Britons suggests that a plant-rich diet may help regardless of a person’s genetic risk.
The findings suggest that, regardless of a person’s genetic risk, eating a lot of plant-based foods may have a “protective effect” against dementia. The researchers said this could be the basis for future public health strategies if further research confirms their findings.
Janice Ranson, a research fellow at the University of Exeter and co-author of the study, stated: The large population-based study demonstrates the long-term benefits of a Mediterranean diet, which is high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats, for brain health.
“This is likely to be a beneficial lifestyle choice for people looking to make healthy dietary choices and reduce their risk of dementia because the protective effect of this diet.
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The discoveries, distributed in the diary BMC Medication, depend on information from in excess of 60,000 people from the UK Biobank, a web-based data set of clinical and way of life records from the greater part 1,000,000 Britons.
In addition to taking into account each individual’s genetic risk for dementia, the researchers gave each person a score based on their adherence to the Mediterranean diet using two measures. There were 882 cases of dementia over the course of nearly a decade. Those who ate a strict Mediterranean diet had a 23% lower risk of developing the disease than those who ate differently.
The study’s lead author, Newcastle University professor of human nutrition and aging Dr. Oliver Shannon, stated that lowering dementia risk was a “major priority” for public health. There are currently few treatment options for dementia, which has an impact on the lives of millions of people worldwide,” he stated.
Alzheimer’s Research UK’s head of policy Susan Mitchell agreed that the research was “intriguing,” but that more research was needed to include people from black, Asian, and minority-ethnic backgrounds, given that dementia was stigmatized in some communities.
According to her, there are currently “no sure-fire ways” to prevent dementia. There is a lot of evidence to suggest that eating a well-balanced, healthy diet can lower cognitive decline risk. However, the evidence for particular diets is much less certain.
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Kelp, sardines and sauerkraut: the best diet for your brain at every stage of life Read more Prof. David Curtis from the UCL Genetics Institute stated that the study did not take into account the fact that people who ate a Mediterranean diet were more likely to have a generally healthy lifestyle. As a result, it is unclear whether the diet itself reduced dementia risk, “although it is plausible that it might do so.”
He continued: It is essential to keep in mind that the research focuses on all forms of dementia rather than just Alzheimer’s. If diet has an effect, it is more likely to have an effect on cardiovascular health in general and, as a result, on dementia caused by vascular disease rather than Alzheimer’s disease.
The results have some limitations because they are primarily based on people of European ancestry. Additional research on a wider range of populations is needed.
Dr Duane Mellor, a dietician and speaker at Aston College, noticed that the food poll utilized didn’t reflect English dietary patterns, for instance that potatoes are eaten distinctively in the UK contrasted and in the Mediterranean.
Mellor added that it also did not include the social aspect of eating, which is regarded as an essential component of the Mediterranean diet and may increase interactions with people to protect against dementia.
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