Diet and Cognitive Decline-New Findings Released

Posted on: July 20, 2017

Research findings were presented at the Alzheimer's Association International conference in London this week and showed some very promising results related to the diets we eat and the correlation to brain health and cognitive decline.  Two different studies showed that your diet can have a significant influence on brain health and cognitive decline and that an optimal diet can lower your risk of Alzheimer's and other Dementias by as much as a 35%.

Adults who followed the Mediterranean style diet or the similar MIND diet lowered their risk of dementia by a third said lead study author from the University of California School of Medicine, Clair McEvoy.  The study is significant because it looked at the eating habits of nearly 6000 older Americans and adjusted for various lifestyle and health issues such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, smoking, depression and physical activity.  

Using the Mediterranean style diet, those who ate diets rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, beans, seeds and eliminated processed foods like refined sugar, butter, margarine and used Extra Virgin Olive Oil along with protein sources such as eggs, fish and poultry with only occasional red meats had the best results.  Similarly the MIND diet which rejects butter, margarine, cheese, fried and fast foods along with sweets can produce similar risk reduction.  Three servings of whole grains a day are a staple of the MIND diet along with two servings a day of berries, chicken or turkey and fish once a week.

Another study released in 2015 and conducted at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago showed that of the 923 Chicago area seniors who participated in the study, that those who rigorously followed the MIND diet had a whopping 53% lower chance for cognitive decline such as Alzheimer's and those who moderately followed this diet had a 35% lowered risk.

Further research will begin in 2018 begin to confirm the link that diet plays in cognitive decline in older adults but based on the results presented in London this week, it seems clear that healthy diets can produce dramatic results in our brain's health and memory functionality as we age.