Scientists from Kyushu University and elsewhere found eating a diet rich in vegetables may reduce dementia risk.
Dementia is not a specific disease but is rather a general term for the impaired ability to remember, think, or make decisions that interfere with everyday activities.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. Though dementia mostly affects older adults, it is not a part of normal aging.
Several Western studies have found that vegetable and fruit intake is linked to lower dementia risk.
In the current study, researchers aimed to examine the association of intakes of vegetables, fruits, and their nutrients on the risk of dementia in a Japanese community.
They tested a total of 1071 participants (452 men and 619 women) aged 60 years and older without dementia before the study.
These people were followed up for 24 years. Their intake of vegetables, fruits, and nutrients was evaluated using a food questionnaire.
The team examined the development of dementia and its subtypes-namely, Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia in these people.
They found that during the long-term follow-up period, 464 people developed dementia, among whom 286 had Alzheimer’s disease and 144 had vascular dementia.
Higher vegetable intake was linked gradually with a lower risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, but not vascular dementia.
People had the highest intake of vegetables had 27% and 31% lower risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, respectively, than those with the lowest intake.
The risk of dementia decreased strongly with higher intakes of vitamin A, riboflavin, vitamin C, magnesium, calcium, and potassium.
People with higher total dietary fiber intake tended to be at a decreased risk for total dementia. Meanwhile, there were no strong associations between fruit intake and the risk of dementia.
Based on the findings, the researchers conclude that higher intakes of vegetables and their constituent nutrients are linked to a lower risk of dementia in Japanese older adults.
A diet rich in vegetables may be beneficial in reducing the dementia risk in Asians.
The research was published in BMC Geriatrics and conducted by Yasumi Kimura et al.
If you care about dementia, 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 brain health, please see recent studies about Vitamin D deficiency linked to higher dementia risk, and these antioxidants could help reduce dementia risk.
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