地中海飲食或有助減低失智症風險
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Mediterranean diet may help reduce risk of dementia

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Mediterranean diet may help reduce risk of dementia

U.S. News & World Report released the annual assessment of the best diet early last year.  The Mediterranean Diet topped the list, and this is the fifth consecutive year that the Mediterranean Diet has maintained its top position. According to a study by the National Institutes of Health/Institute on Aging (NIH/NIA), some findings point to a link between a Mediterranean diet and a reduced risk of dementia.

What is the Mediterranean Diet? The Mediterranean diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, fish, and other seafood, healthy oils (mainly olive oil), with a small amount of red meat, eggs, and sweets. Moderate alcohol consumption with meals (Note 1).

Benefits of the Mediterranean diet include:

  • Reduce the risk of heart disease;
  • Supports a healthy weight;
  • Supports healthy blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels;
  • Reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome;
  • Supports a healthy balance of gut bacteria in the digestive system;
  • Reduce the risk of certain types of cancer;
  • Slows down the degeneration of brain function that accompanies old age.

Simply put: the Mediterranean diet can help you live longer!

An article published by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) on November 27, 2019 examines whether diet can prevent Alzheimer’s Disease.

The article makes the observation based on the study of more than 900 elderly people without dementia. Studies have found that closely following the “MIND Diet” (Note 2) is associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease and slower cognitive decline.

Evidence observed from these studies includes:

Evidence observed from these studies includes: One observational study of 116 cognitively normal adults on a Mediterranean diet found that these adults had thicker cordial brain region than those who did not follow a Mediterranean diet. In Alzheimer’s patients, the cordial brain shrinks .

Another diet-related analysis pointed out that after an average of 4.5 years, people who followed the MIND diet were 53% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those who did not follow the MIND diet.

In addition, a follow-up of an observational study showed that people who did not follow a Mediterranean diet had lower glucose metabolism and higher levels of beta-amyloid protein, which is also seen in Alzheimer’s, etc.

Scientists still don’t know why the Mediterranean diet is beneficial for brain health. It may be that the diet improves heart health and thus reduces the risk of dementia. In addition, the Mediterranean diet may increase certain nutrients with anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties, which may play a protective role in the brain.

Note 1: It should be noted that with age, the body’s tolerance to alcohol will be different; if you don’t have the habit of drinking, you don’t need to add alcohol to your diet.

Note 2: MIND diet is a new diet method published by Rush University Medical Center in 2015. The full English name is: Mediterranean-DASH diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. The dietary approach combines the Mediterranean diet with the DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension Diet), which is designed to reduce the risk of dementia and slow the decline of the brain that occurs with aging.


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