A Mediterranean-style Diet May Not Reduce Risk Of Dementia, Study Shows

You may have heard that eating a balanced diet can reduce the risk for various diseases, but that might not be the case for dementia, according to a new study. The most recent study contradicts other studies that suggest a healthy diet, such as the Mediterranean diet, could reduce the likelihood of cognitive impairment.

A Mediterranean-style diet doesn’t reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Individuals who follow a Mediterranean-style diet consume a lot of vegetables, fruits, peas, legumes, fish, and good fats. Additionally, these dieters abstain from meat, cheese, and saturated fats.

Although there are several forms of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. Difficulties in understanding language, confusion, memory loss and behavioural changes characterize it. As the patient ages, the symptoms may get worse. 

The study tracked around 28,000 with a median age of 48 years for two decades. At the start of the study, none of the subjects had dementia. Participants were required to fill out a seven-day food diary, complete an interview and filled a food frequency questionnaire.  

At the end of the study, around 6.9% of the subjects had dementia, including vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The study followed closely how the participants aligned with a Mediterranean diet. 

There is no link between diet and reduced dementia risk

Findings indicate that no connection following the diet could lead to reduced dementia risk because of individuals misreport their diet. 

Study author Isabelle Glans said that past studies on the impact of diet on dementia produced mixed findings. Glans said that although their study didn’t find a connection between dementia and diet, a possible connection should not be ruled out. The study included younger subjects and had long follow-ups relative to other studies, which could be why there was no link.

University of Basel’s Nils Peters said that diet might not have an effect on thinking and memory, but it can be among the factors impacting cognitive function. Peters added that dietary measures would be required alongside other measures to manage risk factors. 

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