New Diet May Significantly Cut Alzheimer's Risk

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Eating foods that come from a mix of the Mediterranean diet, as well as a diet found to lower hypertension, may also lower a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

The new diet, called the “Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay” (MIND) diet, was found to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s by as much as 53% in those who strictly adhered to it, and by 35% in those who followed it moderately well, according to a study published in Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association.

The Mediterranean diet is characterized by high fish intake and multiple servings of fruits and vegetable daily. The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet emphasizes vegetables, fruit and low-fat dairy foods, as well as moderate amounts of whole grains, fish, poultry and nuts.  

Under the MIND diet, a person should eat at least three servings of whole grains, a salad and one other vegetable every day, as well as a glass of wine. Nuts can be eaten as snacks, beans should be consumed every other day, poultry and berries eaten at least twice a week, and fish at least once a week.

Researchers came to their conclusions based on volunteers already taking part in the Rush Memory and Aging Project. An optional "food frequency questionnaire" was offered, and they looked at results from 923 participants to develop the MIND diet.

“We devised a diet and it worked in this…study,” Martha Clare Morris, PhD, of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, said in a statement. “The results need to be confirmed by other investigators in different populations and also through randomized trials.”

New Diet May Significantly Cut Alzheimer's Risk
New Diet May Significantly Cut Alzheimer's Risk

A new diet, appropriately known by the acronym MIND, could significantly lower a person's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, even if the diet is not meticulously followed, according to a paper published online for subscribers in March in the journal Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association.

Rush nutritional epidemiologist Martha Clare Morris, PhD, and colleagues developed the "Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay" (MIND) diet. The study shows that the MIND diet lowered the risk of AD by as much as 53% in participants who adhered to the diet rigorously, and by about 35% in those who followed it moderately well.

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