Research suggests that the same diet recommended for heart
disease may act as a "brain-healthy" diet to prevent Alzheimer's...
"Fruit-and-vegetable man" by Renaissance
Eating a Mediterranean
diet, which emphasizes fruits, vegetables and olive oil and includes little red meat, is associated with a lower risk for Alzheimers disease,
diet consists of high amounts of fruits, vegetables, legumes,
cereals and fish, mild to moderate amounts of alcohol and
low amounts of red meat and dairy products. This diet has been associated
with a lower risk for several diseases and risk factors, including cancer,
obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, problems with
processing glucose that may lead to diabetes and coronary
According to an article in 2006 which appeared in the Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. Nikolaos Scarmeas, M.D., and colleagues
at Columbia University Medical Center, New York, studied whether the Mediterranean diet could
also help prevent Alzheimers disease in
a group of 1,984 adults with an average age of 76.3.
The participants in the study, 194 of whom already
had Alzheimers disease and 1,790 of whom did not, were given complete physical and neurological
examinations and a series of tests of brain function.
Their diet over the previous year was
analyzed and scored based on how closely it adhered to the principles of the Mediterranean
dietscores ranged from zero to nine, with higher scores indicating eating patterns that
aligned closely with the Mediterranean diet. The researchers obtained information about vascular
disease diagnoses from the exams, participants or relatives reports and medical
Eating a diet that closely followed the
Mediterranean model was associated with a significantly lower risk for Alzheimers disease.
For each additional unit on the diet score, risk for Alzheimers disease decreased by
19 to 24 percent.
After the researchers considered other factors that could influence Alzheimers
disease risk, including age and body mass index, those who were in the top one-third of the
diet scores had 68 percent lower odds of having Alzheimers disease than those in the
bottom one-third, and those in the middle-one third had 53 percent lower odds.
Today, other nutritional supplements that have been shown to help include the herbal supplement gingko biloba, the moss extract Huperzine A (for centuries used in traditional Chinese medicine); as well as Omega-3 fatty acids found naturally in oily fish such as tuna and salmon, and in supplemental pill form.
Of course, plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables like broccoli, spinach, blueberries, strawberries, red grapes, and eating other foods high in antioxidants is another great way to prevent a variety of illnesses, including Alzheimer's.