Dietary fiber intake linked to lower risk of dementia

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Scientists from the University of Tsukuba found that dietary fiber intake is linked to a lower risk of dementia.

According to the National Institute of Aging, dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning — thinking, remembering, and reasoning — to such an extent that it interferes with a person’s daily life and activities.

Some people with dementia cannot control their emotions, and their personalities may change.

Dietary fiber or roughage is the portion of plant-derived food that cannot be completely broken down by human digestive enzymes.

Dietary fiber has two main components: soluble fiber and insoluble fiber, which are components of plant-based foods, such as legumes, whole grains, cereals, vegetables, fruits, nuts, or seeds.

A diet high in regular fiber consumption is generally associated with supporting health and lowering the risk of several diseases

It has been suggested that dietary fiber intake has a beneficial impact on the prevention of dementia.

In the current study, researchers aimed to examine whether dietary fiber intake is linked to a lower risk of dementia requiring care under national insurance (disabling dementia).

The team used data from the Circulatory Risk in Communities Study, which involved 3739 Japanese adults aged 40–64 years at the dietary surveys (1985–99).

The team estimated dietary fiber intake in these people using the 24-hour dietary recall method. Disabling dementia cases were followed up from 1999 through 2020.

Disabling dementia was further classified into that with or without a history of stroke.

The team found that during 20 years of follow-up, a total of 670 cases of disabling dementia were reported.

Dietary fiber intake was linked to a lower risk of dementia. The association was more evident for soluble fiber intake and was confined to dementia without a history of stroke.

As for fiber-containing foods, potatoes, but not vegetables or fruits, the team found a similar association.

Based on the findings, the researchers suggest that dietary fiber intake, especially soluble fiber, is linked to a lower risk of disabling dementia in the general Japanese population.

The research was published in Nutritional Neuroscience and conducted by Kazumasa Yamagishi et al.

If you care about nutrition, please read studies about how the Mediterranean diet could protect your brain health, and Vitamin B supplements could help reduce dementia risk.

For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies about antioxidants that could help reduce dementia risk, and Vitamin D deficiency linked to higher dementia risk.

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