Health and Well Being

New evidence that Mediterranean diet may prevent Alzheimer’s

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Once again, a new study shows that eating a Mediterranean-style diet means a reduced chance of Alzheimer’s, as outlined in a recent article in the NZ Herald by Victoria Allen. The article specifically focuses on memory loss and brain atrophy associated with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, quoting the author of the study as saying that a Mediterranean diet slows down the aging of the brain whereby “the brain shrinks and we lose brain cells, which can affect learning and memory”.

A Mediterranean diet is one high in fresh vegetables, beans, unrefined cereals and olive oil, plus moderate amounts of wine and fish, but with minimal red meat, poultry, dairy and saturated fats. High in antioxidants, these foods are thought to help reduce inflammation of the brain caused by oxidation.

Previous studies have already pointed to the same conclusion, and this recent one, conducted in Scotland by Dr Michelle Luciano from the University of Edinburgh, has again backed up previous findings.

The Scottish study involved 967 subjects around the age of 70, who did not have dementia. The subjects then had MRI scans at age 73 and again at 76, to measure loss of brain volume. Subjects varied in how strictly they adhered to the diet over the six years. Those that adhered closely to the Mediterranean diet showed a much slower reduction in brain volume – about half the rate associated with normal brain aging – than those that did not maintain the diet. This suggests that following such a diet can stave off the brain degeneration that leads to loss of cognitive function as we age.

An interesting development, contradicting some previous studies, was that a more specific analysis of fish and meat consumption alone, did not appear to play a role in loss of brain volume. The researchers concluded that it must be other aspects of the Mediterranean-type diet, or the diet taken as a whole, that provides these positive effects on the brain.

Health supplements can be a great way to complement and support a healthy diet – because let’s face it, it’s difficult to maintain a really strict dietary regimen over time and we all slip up now and again.

About Health’s two core products, Res-V and Lester’s Oil, contain some of the key elements of a Mediterranean diet, including resveratrol (found in high concentration in red wine, among other things) in Res-V Ultimate, and omega-3 fish oil in Lester’s Oil. Both are also packed with super-antioxidants, which are the secret to the Mediterranean diet.

The anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3s are combined with a host of powerful antioxidants that mirror the Mediterranean diet and are in both these supplements. This combination is especially beneficial as we age, not just for brain health, but also to maintain a healthy heart, eyes, joints, energy levels and immune system.

 

References:

NZ Herald Article: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/health-wellbeing/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501238&objectid=11777245   

Press release: https://www.aan.com/PressRoom/Home/PressRelease/1511

Study: http://www.neurology.org/content/early/2017/01/04/WNL.0000000000003559

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