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Diet May Keep Alzheimer's at Bay

The Mediterranean diet - which includes the high consumption of fruits, vegetables, bread, potatoes, beans, nuts and seeds; olive oil as an important monounsaturated fat source; dairy products, fish and poultry consumed in low to moderate amounts; very little consumption of red meat;

eggs consumed zero to four times a week; and wine consumed in low to moderate amounts - may not only help you lose weight, but also fight the onset of Alzheimer's disease (AD), according to a recent study published in the Archives of Neurology.

The study included 194 patients with AD and 1,790 without in the New York City area. Age, education, caloric intake, body mass index, sex and smoking status were used as continuous variables in the study. The main predictor used for the onset of AD was the adherence to a Mediterranean diet in the past 12 months among the subjects. The researchers used a 0- to 9-point scale, with 9 signifying strict adherence to the diet. Follow-ups were conducted an average of 8.1 years after baseline.

Of the 1,790 subjects who did not have AD at the start of the study, 89 developed dementia during successive follow-ups. Higher obedience to the Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduction in the risk of developing AD. Although the researchers note their findings require further investigation before this diet can be recommended as a weapon against AD, they, feel more trials could significantly support the results of the current study.

Scarmeas N, Stern Y, Mayeux R, et al. Mediterranean diet, Alzheimer's disease, and vascular mediation. Archives of Neurology, published online Oct. 9, 2006. (doi:10.1001/archneur.63.12.noc60109)


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Date Last Modified - Monday, 27-Jul-2009 09:13:53 PDT