Mediterranean Diet Reduces Dementia


Mediterranean Diet Reduces Dementia

Mediterranean Diet Reduces Dementia

Hoda: There is new evidence this morning that the so-called Mediterranean diet, it can sharply reduce your chances of developing dementia, even if you have a genetic risk for it. NBC News medical contributor, Dr. Natalie is here to tell us about the new study and that could have us eating healthier, what encouraging news. Anything can fight back against dementia and Alzheimer’s. But this is a diet that a lot of people have been on or are on.

Dr. Natalie: Absolutely, Hoda. It is definitely another vote for the Mediterranean diet. So this study looked at over 60,000 individuals who were middle-aged, and followed them for about nine years. And there were close to 900 cases of dementia. People who followed strictly a Mediterranean diet had almost a quarter lower chance of developing dementia. And as you said in the lead, they actually took into account genetic risk and that didn’t even make a difference, which is really, really encouraging, because you think that certain things are predetermined, but this is the kind of thing that we can all actually implement in our lives.

Woman: Can you remind everybody what the Mediterranean diet is? And then why it might have affected something to do with your brain health?

Dr. Natalie: Right. So, the Mediterranean diet, think plant-based. Okay, so we’re talking about fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, seeds, legumes, things like that. Fish, seafood, olive oil. You wanna limit or eat in moderation, red meat, eggs, poultry, cheese, yogurts, and sweets. Why is it? Well, you know, some people have said maybe it’s not a direct effect on the brain, but maybe because it’s reducing inflammation. It has antioxidants, that it’s helping your heart health, that helps the blood vessels in the brain. We don’t know exactly why, but nonetheless, this is very compelling. It was such a large study.

Man 1: Besides the change of diet, are there ways that folks might be able to reduce the likelihood that they develop Alzheimer’s or dementia?

Dr. Natalie: Absolutely. And all of these things, again, are lifestyle changes, getting adequate sleep, controlling your blood pressure, controlling cholesterol, your blood glucose, staying physically and mentally active. These are all things that can help with cognitive decline and hopefully stave off the risk of dementia.

Hoda: Okay. Thank you, Dr. Natalie.

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