This popular diet can help fight dementia, suggests study


A new study has suggested that Mediterranean diet can lower cognitive impairment or difficulty in remembering, learning things or concentrating and making decisions.

For the uninitiated, Mediterranean diet is heavily dependent on seafood, fresh produce, whole grains, nuts and seeds. These foods are rich in vitamins and other essential nutrients. Research suggests that this form of plant-based diet helps reduce the risk of diabetes and certain types of cancer.

Published in the Alzheimer’s and Dementia ­journal, the study found that people who consumed plenty of vegetables, whole grains, olive oil and fish showed the lowest risk of cognitive impairment. The diet was found to benefit participants with a high genetic risk of Alzheimer’s, reported Daily Mail. The results were the strongest for those who did not alter their diet.

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Around 8000 elderly people with varying severity of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of loss of vision, were studied.

“Closer adherence to a Mediterranean-type diet was associated with lower risk of cognitive impairment but not slower decline in cognitive function. However, higher fish consumption was significantly associated with slower cognitive decline,” lead author Dr Emily Chew, National Eye Institute, Maryland, US.

“These findings may help inform evidence-based dietary recommendations, adding strength to evidence that Mediterranean-type diet patterns may maximise cognitive reserve against impairment and dementia.” added Dr Chew.