Lower risk of dementia with the Mediterranean diet

A study published in the journal BMC Medicine It shows that the traditional Mediterranean diet, which includes foods such as seafood, fruits, vegetables, and nuts, is associated with a lower risk of dementia. Participants who adhered to the Mediterranean diet more strictly had a 23% lower risk of developing dementia compared to participants who adhered less strictly to the diet.

According to a 2019 report by Alzheimer’s Disease International, there were an estimated 800,000 people with dementia in Spain. This number is likely to increase in the future given the aging population and the consequent increase in the number of people at risk of developing dementia.

Diet can be an important and modifiable risk factor for dementia, helping to prevent the disease and reduce risk. Previous studies on the effect of the Mediterranean diet were limited to small sample sizes and a small number of dementia cases.

Researchers at Newcastle University analyzed data from 60,298 individuals from the UK Biobank in the UK who completed a nutritional assessment. They looked at how well participants adhered to the Mediterranean diet, using two measurement methods.

During more than nine years of follow-up, there were 882 cases of dementia. The researchers looked at each person’s genetic risk by counting the number of different genes associated with dementia risk. They call this “polygenic risk.”

he was not there Remarkable interaction Between polygenic dementia risk and adherence to the Mediterranean diet. According to the researchers, this indicates that the association between greater adherence to the Mediterranean diet and a lower risk of dementia persists, regardless of individual genetic risk of dementia.

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However, this finding was not consistent across all sensitivity analyses and the authors believe that more research is needed to assess the interaction between diet and genetics in dementia risk. The authors also caution that their analysis was limited to individuals who declared their ethnicity as white, British or Irish, because only genetic data based on European ancestry was available. More research is needed in different populations to determine potential benefit.

Based on their data, the researchers concluded that a Mediterranean diet combined with a high consumption of healthy plant foods may be an important intervention to reduce dementia risk in future strategies.

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