In a study from Lund University in Sweden, scientists found that two diets, including the Mediterranean diet, are not linked to a reduced risk of dementia.
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.
Dementia cases are expected to triple during the next 30 years. This highlights the importance of prevention.
In the current study, researchers aimed to examine whether adherence to conventional dietary recommendations or to a modified Mediterranean diet is linked to a lower risk of developing all-cause dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, or with future accumulation of Alzheimer’s disease-related β-amyloid (Aβ) pathology.
They used data from the Swedish population-based Malmö Diet and Cancer Study (MDCS) which took place in 1991-1996 with a follow-up for incident dementia until 2014.
Non-demented people born 1923-1950 and living in Malmö were invited to participate. A total of 30,446 were recruited. 28,025 had dietary data and were included in the present study.
The team found during almost 20 years of follow-up, there were 1,943 dementia cases.
People eating conventional dietary recommendations did not have a lower risk of developing all-cause dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or vascular dementia.
Neither did adherence to the modified Mediterranean diet lower the risk of developing all-cause dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or vascular dementia.
The results were similar when excluding participants developing dementia within 5 years or those with diabetes.
In addition, there were no strong associations between diet and abnormal Aβ accumulation in conventional recommendations and the modified Mediterranean diet.
Based on the findings, the team concludes that neither adherence to conventional dietary recommendations nor to a modified Mediterranean diet is strongly linked to a reduced risk for developing all-cause dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, or Alzheimer’s disease -pathology.
The study was conducted by Isabelle Glans et al and published in Neurology.
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