Nutritional Science News: “Mediterranean Diet Strongly Tied to Reduced Alzheimer’s Pathology”
A November 20, 2018 article on Medscape.com from Deborah Brauser discusses strong evidence from a recent study in Australia linking the Mediterranean diet to reduced signs of Alzheimer’s disease development. The new research suggests that “adherence to a Mediterranean diet (MeDi) is linked to a reduction over time in Aβ-amyloid (Aβ) accumulation, a biomarker of cerebral Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology”.
The lead author of the study, Stephanie R. Rainey-Smith, PhD, shared her surprise at the strength of the results. "The take-away message is that there are things that everyone can do, like modifying one's diet, that can help to delay the onset of Alzheimer's," said Rainey-Smith.
Seeking Alzheimer’s Prevention Strategies
This research was conducted in order to determine more effective prevention strategies. Drugs trials thus far for Alzheimer’s haven’t been successful, and the disease currently affects about 50 million people worldwide and is expected to reach 115 million by 2050. Because the Mediterranean diet has previously shown benefits in memory and cognition (and many other areas), it made sense to further explore this strategy.
It appears high fruit consumption was a key individual component of the diet associated with less Aβ-amyloid (Aβ) accumulation.
"One possibility is that the high concentration of Vitamin C in many fruits that are part of the Mediterranean diet, such as citrus and strawberries, could be the answer as it has been shown to reduce the Aβ burden (in mouse models)," Rainey-Smith noted in a press release. "Another potential factor could be the flavonoids that are present in fruit.”
Protecting Your Brain
"The Mediterranean diet in particular has shown benefits in memory and thinking outcomes; the data fro this study suggest that MeDi adherence is beneficial for maintaining brain health (in Australian older adults), by slowing accumulation of cerebral AD pathology," the investigators write.
This study particularly produced strong evidence for its potential protective factors for the brain.
Everyone can easily incorporate this information to actively help protect their brain health. Start by adding one or two cups of fresh seasonal fruit to your daily diet. Strive for variety, with a rainbow of colors from fruits and vegetables. Have plenty of fruit and nuts on hand for quick snacks; bring ready-to-go snacks when you are out such as a banana, baby carrots or an apple. Replace dessert with fruit. Fortunately, there’s plenty of inexpensive and delicious fresh fruits available in Shanghai, so try something new.
Published online October 30, 2018. Full article
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