A healthy diet might help reduce the risk of dementia

New research has found that establishing a healthy dietary pattern might be beneficial in preventing the development of cognitive illnesses, like dementia.

In the study, researchers examined over 2,600 participants, aged 25-45, who took part in a Mediterranean-style diet. Participants were given questionnaires over 3-time points to assess their average dietary intake.

“The authors examined diet using a validated questionnaire administered over 3-time points to assess adherence to a Mediterranean-style diet (MedDiet), the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), and the A Priori Diet Quality Score (APDQS),” according to the study.

“The study population was the large and racially diverse Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study of 2,621 men and women with a mean age of 25 to 45 years at the first dietary assessment. Associations with cognitive performance at the ages of 50 and 55 years and the change in cognitive function between the ages of 50 and 55 years were examined.”

Based on the findings, researchers were able to determine that the MedDiet and APDQS diet had greater benefits to their cognitive health, compared to the DASH diet. Among the components of each dietary patterns, monounsaturated fats, legumes, and micronutrients were observed to be most helpful in promoting cognitive health.

“A notable strength of the study is the repeated within-person administration of the dietary questionnaires over 3-time points, which can permit the averaging of the dietary intake reports across each participant and can improve the accuracy of the subjective reporting of dietary intake,” the study reads.

“Limitations of the study, other than its observational nature, which raises questions about causality, are the relatively short duration of follow-up between cognitive assessments and the absence of objective biochemical measures of diet to substantiate the findings and to uncover potential mechanisms of action.”

The findings were published in Neurology.

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