BEIJING, April 18
(Xinhuanet) -- The Mediterranean diet may reduce risk for Alzheimer's disease,
according to a community-based study conducted in New York.
|The Mediterranean diet is known to be high
in fruits, vegetables, cereals, but low in meat and dairy products.(file
The Mediterranean diet is known to be high in
fruits, vegetables, cereals, but low in meat and dairy products.
A group of 2,258 non-demented individuals from
the Washington Heights-Inwood Columbia Aging Project participated in the study.
They were instructed to be on the diet for an average of four years.
During the course of the study, 262 individuals were
diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.
Overall, each additional unit of the Mediterranean diet
adherence score on a 0 to 9 -point scale was associated with a 9% to
10% decreased risk for Alzheimer's, reported Nikolaos Scarmeas, M.D., of
Columbia University, in the April issue of the Annals of Neurology and
Compared with participants who had the lowest adherence to
the diet, the risk for those with the highest adherence was 39% to 40% lower,
while those in the middle tertile had a decreased Alzheimer's risk of 15% to
21%. This, the researchers said.
This study suggested that "an overall dietary pattern is
likely to have a greater effect on health than a single nutrient," Dr. Scarmeas
Previous research in Alzheimer's disease had focused on
individual dietary components or nutrients, such as vitamins C and E,
flavonoids, folate, total fats, and fish, often with conflicting results, the
researchers said. There have been few studies of the effect of composite dietary
patterns, rather than individual foods.
The Mediterranean diet has also been linked to a
lower risk for cardiovascular disease, several forms of cancer, and overall