Yet again diet and nutrition has come out as a major factor in the causes of development of Alzheimer’s disease. Forget the genetic story. It’s almost totally irrelevant. The “familial incidence” of Alzheimer’s is almost always due to family sharing the same crummy diet habits.
In any case, numerous studies have made it clear that no matter your genetic disposition, ultimately Alzheimer’s disease is turned on or off by external environmental factors, principally diet and nutrition.
The latest study to make the connection, published in the archives of neurology, February 2009 (vol 66: pp 216-225), showed that the Mediterranean style diet was a great protective against mild cognitive impairment (MPI). MPI is a stage of memory loss between typical aging and Alzheimer’s disease (severe cognitive impairment).
The Mediterranean diet consists of lots of fish, fruit and vegetables, legumes, a little bread, and unsaturated fatty acids; low amounts of dairy products, meat, and saturated fats; and a moderate amount of alcohol (actually wine – KSM)
Participants in this particular study were recruited between 1992 and 1999; all were Medicare beneficiaries living in the northern part of Manhattan. At the start of the study, there were 1,393 participants with no cognitive impairments and 482 with mild cognitive impairment.
The findings are very straightforward. The closer the participants followed the Mediterranean diet plan, the less cognitive impairment. In fact those who most closely followed the diet had a 48% reduced risk of Alzheimer’s (almost half the risk). Even those who only moderately followed the diet showed a remarkable 45% reduction in risk.
Case closed. End of story.
Hmmm. I wonder if that’s a chardonnay she’s sipping?