Alzheimer’s Risk Can Be Reduced By Diet, Study Shows

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A new study has shown that people can significantly reduce their risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia by making healthier choices in the kitchen.

By following either Mediterranean or brain-focused Mediterranean-DASH Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diets, people showed fewer physical signs of Alzheimer’s, CNN reported Wednesday. Further, the study showed that those who followed either diet had lowered their odds by almost 40% of accumulating enough plaques and tangles in brain tissue to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, the outlet reported.

The MIND diet has already been touted for years as the anti-memory loss diet. In a study conducted in 2015, MIND diet researchers monitored a group of older adults for up to 10 years from the Rush Memory and Aging Project (MAP) with annual dietary questionnaires.

“Researchers found a 53% lower rate of Alzheimer’s disease for those with the highest MIND scores. Even those participants who had moderate MIND scores showed a 35% lower rate compared with those with the lowest MIND scores,” the study showed.

This new research, however, shows that even small changes, can potentially have big effects.

“Doing a simple dietary modification, such as adding more greens, berries, whole grains, olive oil and fish, can actually delay your onset of Alzheimer’s disease or reduce your risk of dementia when you’re growing old,” said study author Puja Agarwal, an assistant professor of internal medicine at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, according to CNN.

Leafy greens provide the most benefit according to Agarwal, but adding berries and whole grains were also beneficial.

There is some research to suggest that Alzheimer’s is actually a “diabetes of the brain” leading to it to be categorized by some as Type 3 Diabetes, according to the National Institutes of Health. Other studies have shown a link to Type 2 diabetes and cognitive decline.

Both the Mediterranean and MIND diets address the risk factors associated with Type 2 diabetes by cutting out things like refined sugars and flours, focusing instead on whole grains, leafy greens, and lean meats, like fish. (RELATED: Calley Means Tells Russell Brand Medical Field Is ‘Profiting’ Off Obesity)

“While this study doesn’t definitively prove that it’s possible to slow brain aging through dietary choices, the data are compelling enough for me to add green leafy vegetables to most of my meals, and to suggest the Mediterranean-style diet for my patients at risk,”Alzheimer’s disease researcher Dr. Richard Isaacson, a preventive neurologist at the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases of Florida told CNN.