Mediterranean diet may protect against Alzheimer's

October 11, 2006 in Nutrition for Older Adults, Nutrition Topics in the News

Mediterranean diet may protect against Alzheimer's

Researchers at Columbia University have found that adherence to the Mediterranean diet may cut the risk of Alzheimer's by up to 68 percent.

The Mediterranean diet, rich in cereals, fish, olive oil, fruit, legumes and olive oil has already been linked to a longer life expectancy and a reduced risk of heart disease and some cancers.

The findings, published in the Archives of Neurology, were based on results from a study of 194 Alzheimer disease cases and 1790 Alzheimer-free controls. Dietary assessment was performed using a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire.

After adjusting for age, education, BMI, smoking, researchers found that people with the highest adherence to a Mediterranean diet were associated with a 60 percent lower risk of Alzheimer's disease.

When researchers took into account a series of cardiovascular variables, including history of stroke, hypertension, heart disease and diabetes, the associated risk was reduced by up to 68 percent.

According to the Alzheimer Society, an estimated 290,000 Canadians over 65 have Alzheimer's disease.

For more information on Alzheimer's disease in Canada, visit the

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