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This well-known diet would reduce the risk of dementia

  • March 26, 2024
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Memory loss, mood disorderdisorientation… So many symptoms that may be linked to dementia. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), as many as 50 million people suffer worldwide. These neurodegenerative diseases, among which we can cite Alzheimer’s disease or de Parkinson, are one of the main causes of loss of autonomy. But certain habits can limit the risks, such as playing sports, having a social life or even taking care of your diet.

It is precisely on this last point that researchers from the University of Milan, in Italy, carried out research. According to them, follow a Mediterranean diet would be effective in reducing the risk of dementia, including in the elderly. Their results are published in the journal Aging Clinical and Experimental Research.

Dementia: the Mediterranean diet would reduce the risk by 11%

To arrive at these conclusions, the specialists carried out a meta-analysis, that is to say they used data from previous research works. In total, 21 studies were screened by specialists from the University of Milan, which represented a panel of 65,955 elderly people. This research was to be carried out on people aged over 60, to contain data on the Mediterranean diet and to measure the onset of dementia.

As a reminder, the Mediterranean diet comes from the natural dietary pattern that we observed in the Mediterranean basin. It focuses on an intake of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, but also mono or polyunsaturated fatty acids thanks, in particular, to olive oil. Conversely, it bans ultra-processed foods.

Cognitive health: researchers call for promoting the Mediterranean diet to reduce risk

After analyzing the data, the researchers then noticed that high adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduction of approximately 11% the risk of developing dementia. As part of their research, specialists have differentiated between all types of dementia. They noticed that this diet reduced the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 27%. As a reminder, this is the most widespread neurodegenerative disease.

“Despite the apparently weak protective effect, it should be borne in mind that dementia is a frequently diagnosed disease, especially in older people,” specify the researchers, who point out that the benefits noted in the study are only linked to the Mediterranean diet. Also, the authors of the study call for promoting the Mediterranean diet among seniors to reduce the risk of dementia.

Sources :

  • Association between Mediterranean diet and dementia and Alzheimer disease: a systematic review with meta-analysis – Aging Clinical and Experimental Research
  • World Health Organization – WHO key benchmarks on dementia
author avatar
Louis Tardy