Alzheimer's Risk Reduced By The Mediterranean Diet
Alzheimers has been a subject in many households over the last decade as more and more people become aware of its existence and the sadness it can bring to families and friends. A small breakthrough is always welcome in these areas and so it has seemingly been found within the Mediterranean diet. The following studies have been released to the media in many parts of the globe and although it may only represent the beginning of perhaps a larger breakthrough, it does address the importance of diet. In this case, the Mediterranean diet.
In a number of studies undertaken recently it was found that a Mediterranean diet and possibly fish oil supplements are potential ammunition in the fight against Alzheimer's disease. In addition, it seems omega-3 fatty acid supplements might slow cognitive decline in milder cases
One study, a Dr. Nikolaos Scarmeas and his colleagues at Columbia University Medical Center in New York found that eating a Mediterranean diet is associated with a lower risk for developing Alzheimer's disease, a form of dementia that can affect memory, language and behaviour.
The information apparently formulated from researchers who studied over 1,900 adults with an average age of 76. From all the participants, 194 already had Alzheimer's and 1,790 did not.
Over the previous year their diets were ranked from a low of zero to a high of nine for how closely they adhered to a Mediterranean-style diet, which includes large amounts of fruits, vegetables, legumes, cereals and fish, moderate amounts of alcohol, and reduced intake of red meat and dairy products. For each additional unit on the diet score, the risk for Alzheimer's disease decreased by 19 to 24 per cent.
Those participants who were in the top one-third of the diet scores had 68 per cent lower odds of having Alzheimer's disease than those in the bottom one-third, after researchers considered other factors such as age and weight. Equally interesting, Swedish researchers have found that omega-3 fatty acid supplements may slow mental decline in some people with very mild Alzheimer's disease.
It is also worth noting that the studies also indicated that eating fish, high in omega-3 fatty acids, might be protective against Alzheimer's disease, so Dr. Yvonne Freund-Levi from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm set out to see if supplements provide similar protection.
It was noted that this study was relatively small and short, only involving 174 people, lasting one year, but apparently it did produce encouraging results. It showed that Omega-3 fatty acids reduced cognitive decline compared with inactive supplements in those mildly affected by the disease, but importantly, not in those with more advanced Alzheimer's disease.
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