Diet may prevent Alzheimer’s disease, study finds
September 17, 2009 by Spencer Cameron
A Mediterranean-style diet may become a new weapon for those who would like to reduce their risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) as a new study has found that when combined with physical fitness, it lowers the odds of developing neurodegenerative conditions.
Researchers from Columbia University Medical Center studied two groups of 1,880 elderly New Yorkers without dementia at the start of the study, measured their dietary habits and physical activity and then followed up with them for an average of 5.4 years. During that period, a total of 282 people developed Alzheimer’s disease.
The scientists found statistical evidence that both physical activity and a Mediterranean diet adherence were significantly associated with AD incidence, the research report says.
In a recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association the scientists wrote that compared with control individuals, high physical activity plus high diet adherence was associated with a 35 percent to 44 percent relative risk reduction.
The research also concurs with a recent study conducted in France that found that the diet was associated with slower cognitive decline.
The hallmarks of the Mediterranean diet include high consumption of fresh produce, especially fruits, vegetables and legumes, as well as cereal and fish, and low intake of red meat and poultry.