Scientists from Northwestern University and elsewhere found that the MIND diet is linked to lower dementia risk in women.
Dementia is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, driving many people to search for ways to prevent cognitive decline.
The Mediterranean-Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay or MIND diet targets the health of the aging brain.
High adherence to the MIND diet has been linked to better cognition and a lower risk of dementia in some but not all studies.
In the current study, researchers examined adherence to the MIND diet and its association with cognitive health in the general population.
They used data from the UK Biobank. A MIND score was got from diet questionnaires for 120,661 participants who completed cognitive function tests.
In 78,663 participants aged 55 and older, the diagnosis of dementia was determined by linked hospital and death records.
The researchers found that higher adherence to the MIND diet was linked to a small but much worsening in performance on five of seven cognitive tests.
Associations were strongest among highly educated participants. After a follow-up time of 10.5 years, 842 participants developed dementia.
Overall, MIND adherence was not linked to the risk of dementia.
But among women, higher adherence to the MIND diet was linked to lower dementia risk. No such effect was found in men.
Similar associations with cognitive ability and dementia were found for the Alternative Healthy Eating Index-2010 (AHEI-2010) diet.
Associations were not modified by genetic susceptibility.
Based on the findings, the team concludes that in the UK Biobank dataset, the MIND diet is not linked to better cognitive test scores and only to lower dementia risk in women.
The research was published in Nutrients and conducted by Marilyn C Cornelis et al.
If you care about dementia, please read studies about Vitamin B9 deficiency linked to higher dementia risk, and flavonoid-rich foods could help prevent dementia.
For more information about brain health, please see recent studies that cranberries could help boost memory, and how alcohol, coffee, and tea intake influence cognitive decline.
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