Food Linked To Risk Of Acquiring Neurodegenerative Disease

Food Linked To Higher Risk Of Alzheimer’s Disease

People who eat more nuts, fish, poultry and certain fruits and vegetables have a lower risk of acquiring Alzheimer’s disease, while those who eat more red meats, organ meats, butter and high-fat dairy products have a higher risk.

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The conclusions come from a study of 2,148 adults aged over 65 published in the journal Archives of Neurology. All lived in New York and did not have dementia. They were followed for approximately four years. Their diet was studied and their dementia risk assessed every 1.5 years. Researchers found that 253 people developed Alzheimer’s disease during the study.

One dietary pattern apparently provided the best protection against the disease. Those who had a higher intake of the following foods had a lower incidence of Alzheimer’s disease:

  • salad dressing (oils)
  • nuts,
  • fish,
  • tomatoes,
  • poultry,
  • fruits,
  • dark and green leafy vegetables, such as cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli.

“Epidemiological evidence linking diet, one of the most important modifiable environmental factors, and risk of Alzheimer’s disease is rapidly increasing. However, current literature regarding the impact of individual nutrients or food items on Alzheimer’s disease risk is inconsistent, partly because humans eat meals with complex combinations of nutrients or food items that are likely to be synergistic,” said the researchers.

“For example, vitamin B12 and folate are homocysteine-related vitamins that may have an impact on Alzheimer’s disease via their ability of reducing circulating homocysteine levels, vitamin E might prevent Alzheimer’s disease via its strong antioxidant effect and fatty acids may be related to dementia and cognitive function through atherosclerosis, thrombosis or inflammation via an effect on brain development and membrane functioning or via accumulation of beta-amyloid (plaque).”

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