Proper nutrition can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. According to a recent study, the magic word for nutrition is “Mediterranean”.
Health and nutrition are closely related. Science names many interactions between unhealthy food and physical ailments such as obesity, cardiovascular disease or type 2 diabetes. A recent study by the German Center for Degenerative Neurology (DZNE), which can be found at n.neurology.org, investigated ” right Now. Another aspect – the effects of the so-called Mediterranean diet on brain metabolism. The results show that it can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
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Are diet and Alzheimer’s disease linked?
As the name suggests, the Mediterranean diet is widespread in countries of the Mediterranean region. It consists of the food available there, that is, fresh fish that is relatively rich in fat, nuts, fruits, vegetables, herbs and olive oil. Red meat and dairy products are much less on the menu there than in Germany, for example. Several studies, for example one from Ireland’s Cork University in 2020, have confirmed the health benefits of this cuisine. People who follow the Mediterranean diet are less likely to develop obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis or cancer. In statistical comparison, they remain healthy in old age and also have a higher life expectancy. DZNE researchers were now looking for effects on Alzheimer’s disease – and find what they were looking for.
Symptoms and stages
Alzheimer’s disease is associated with an increasing decline in mental abilities. However, symptoms and their severity can vary from person to person.
Alzheimer’s disease is associated with plaques
It’s not yet completely deciphered how Alzheimer’s dementia develops, but one thing is for sure: It’s always associated with so-called plaques. These are deposits on nerve cells in the brain that damage and kill them. The brain mass shrinks, which can lead to memory disturbances and complete dementia. The plaques are made of two proteins, which are beta-amyloid proteins and tau proteins. And here begins the investigations of DZNE.
The study looked at the diets and brains of volunteers
The study was conducted on 512 subjects whose average age was approximately 70 years. 169 of them were diagnosed as being cognitively healthy, while the rest actually suffered from slight memory disturbances and cognitive impairment, i.e. the possible initial stages of dementia. Eating habits were determined on the basis of questionnaires. Then brain scans are performed and what is called cerebral fluid is analyzed. The results are clear.
With these tips and tricks, you can keep your brain fit against Alzheimer’s disease.
This is how your brain stays fit
There is hope in combating dementia: Those who rely on the right lifestyle will keep their gray cells vital for life. One of the most important anti-aging recipes for a young mind is this: Joie de vivre!
The Mediterranean diet reduces harmful proteins
The biggest differences appeared on the CSF tests. The higher the Mediterranean subjects’ intake, the lower the beta-amyloid and tau values - meaning that they were about half of the other measured values. Whether fewer of these proteins are produced in the Mediterranean diet, or whether the nutrients in it remove harmful proteins more effectively, or both, has yet to be fully clarified. Either way, according to researchers, it appears to represent verifiable protection against plaque. This also coincides with opinion polls: in regions where Mediterranean food is preferred, fewer people develop Alzheimer’s disease than, for example, Germany.
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