Mediterranean diet reduces risk of Alzheimer's disease, study concludes

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Saturday, October 14, 2006

A Mediterranean diet is typically rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, cereals and fish and contains less dairy and meat, with a moderate fat and alcohol intake.

U.S. scientists prospectively analysed the health and eating pattern of 2,258 study participants and found a link between a Mediterranean diet and a decreased risk of Alzheimer's disease, the most common cause of dementia.

Participants were scored on their use of fruits, vegetables, legumes, cereals and fish (which were considered beneficial in this study), and dairy products and meat, which were regarded as being detrimental to the subjects health. A moderate fat and alcohol intake was also considered part of a typical Mediterranean diet. Potential statistical confounders such as age, sex, ethnicity, education, Apo E genotype, caloric intake and body mass index were taken into account.

"This large study in a leading journal adds to the growing weight of evidence that diet and lifestyle are very important risk factors for Alzheimer's disease." was the reaction of Professor Clive Ballard of the Alzheimer's Society.

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