A Mediterranean-style diet - spare on red meat and heavy on fruits, vegetables, and olive oil - may help to fend off Alzheimer's disease, according to researchers here.
The effect was strongest in people who followed a Mediterranean-type diet most religiously, reported Nikolaos Scarmeas, M.D., of Columbia University, and colleagues, in an early online release from the December issue of Archives of Neurology.
Also, the effect appeared to be independent of vascular risk factors, suggesting that the diet had non-vascular protective benefits, such as antioxidant or anti-inflammatory properties, they wrote.
Also, the effect appeared to be independent of vascular risk factors, suggesting that the diet had non-vascular protective benefits, such as antioxidant or anti-inflammatory properties, they wrote, informs MedPage Today.
According to The Money Times, the Mediterranean diet is a nutritional model inspired by the traditional dietary patterns of the countries of the Mediterranean basin, particularly Southern Italy, southern France, Greece, Cyprus, Portugal and Spain.
It was found out that the diet could also help to reduce diseases like cancer, obesity, high cholesterol and blood pressure, problems with processing glucose that may lead to diabetes, coronary heart disease and death. One of the main explanations is the large amount of olive oil used in the Mediterranean diet. Unlike the high amount of animal fats typical to the American diet, olive oil lowers cholesterol levels in the blood. In addition, the consumption of red wine is considered a possible factor, as it contains flavonoids with powerful antioxidant properties.
In a recent study, Dr. Nikolaos Scarmeas and colleagues at Columbia University Medical Center in New York tried to find a possible link between the Mediterranean diet and lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease- a neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive cognitive deterioration together with declining activities of daily living and neuropsychiatric symptoms or behavioral changes.
The most striking early symptom of Alzheimer’s is loss of short term memory. As the disorder progresses, cognitive injury extends to the domains of language (aphasia), skilled movements (apraxia), recognition (agnosia), and those functions (such as decision-making and planning) closely related to the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain.
Average duration of the disease is approximately 7–10 years, although cases are known where reaching the final stage occurs within 4–5 years, or up to 15 years.
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