Peer-reviewed Research

Mediterranean diet

July 1, 2006

Indication: Alzheimer’s disease

Source: Ann Neurol, June 2006;59(6):912-21.

Research: Researchers set out to investigate the association between the Mediterranean diet and the risk for Alzheimer’s disease by examining data from a total of 2258 community-based “non-demented” individuals in New York, who were pro-spectively evaluated every one-and-a-half years. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet (zero- to nine-point scale with higher scores indicating higher adherence) was the main predictor in models that were adjusted for cohort, age, sex, ethnicity, education, apolipoprotein E genotype, caloric intake, smoking, medical comorbidity in-dex and body mass index. The constituents of the Mediterranean diet include olive oil, legumes, fruits, vegetables, cereals, fish, a little alcohol and very little dairy or meat.

Results: Over the course of four years, 262 subjects developed Alzheimer’s disease. Subjects who had the highest adherence to the Mediterranean diet were 40% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease versus those with the lowest adherence. This led researchers to conclude that the Mediterranean diet is associated with a reduction in risk for Alzheimer’s disease, probably as a result of reducing the underlying inflammation associated with it and many other diseases.

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