Mediterranean Diet Cuts Dementia Risk, Regardless of Genetic Risk
March 14, 2023 – Sticking closely to the Mediterranean diet – rich in healthy fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and seafood – may help protect the aging brain.
In a large study of older adults, close following of a Mediterranean diet was tied to a 23% lower risk of getting dementia over an average of 9 years.
This was true even in people with genes that make them more likely to have dementia, study investigator Oliver Shannon, PhD, with Newcastle University, Newcastle Upon Tyne, U.K., tells WebMD.
The study was published online March 14 in the journal BMC Medicine.
Diet may be an important risk factor for dementia. Focusing on diet, and eating healthier, could be targeted to prevent or cut the risk of the memory-robbing disease. Yet, prior studies exploring the impact of the Mediterranean diet have typically been limited in size, and few have explored the impact of one’s genetic makeup.
In the new study, researchers looked at genetic and dietary data for more than 60,000 adults in the United Kingdom who were 60 and older. Over the course of about 9 years, 882 got dementia.