Recently, a study published in the international journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia, Scientists from the University of New South Wales have found that When people follow a diet that improves brain health, they have a lower risk of cognitive impairment by studying the dietary patterns of older Australians; researchers believe that long-term adherence to an increased brain-healthy diet seems to reduce the risk of individual cognitive impairment and related diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
In this article, the researchers analyzed the potential protective effects of a diet called MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay diet). The Mediterranean Diet is thought to have certain protective effects on other health aspects, such as cardiovascular disease; the MIND Diet component is based on the Mediterranean Diet and adds additional foods related to brain health. The diet consists mainly of 15 recipes, focusing on green vegetables, whole grains, olive oil and a small amount of red meat.
The researchers followed 1220 people aged 60 and over for 12 years, and during the study period, people who followed the MIND diet were 19 percent less likely to be clinically diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment or dementia; however, people who followed the Mediterranean diet did not reap any dietary benefits. Researcher Professor Kaarin Anstey says they are interested in finding new ways to reduce the risk of dementia and improve healthy aging. For the first time in this study, the researchers demonstrated that the MIND diet reduces the risk of dementia.
The researchers hope this study will help make specific recommendations to reduce the risk of dementia in people in Australia and around the world. Professor Martha Morris developed the MIND diet in the United States, which is different from other dietary strategies. It had a certain neuroprotective effect, including green leafy vegetables and berries; the participants’ final scores also included cakes and some pastries, a sign of the Western diet. It can help researcher better capture participants’ eating patterns and behaviors.
In the next step, the researchers will continue to study the evaluation of this dietary pattern in randomized clinical trials, and conduct a large number of studies to reveal the protective mechanism and related pathways of MIND diet.
- Hosking, D. E., Eramudugolla, R., Cherbuin, N., & Anstey, K. J. (2019). MIND not Mediterranean diet related to 12-year incidence of cognitive impairment in an Australian longitudinal cohort study. Alzheimer’s & Dementia.