Saturday, April 24, 2010

Study finds diet to stave off dementia

A diet rich in olive oil, nuts, fish, poultry and certain fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease (AD).

According to a study published in Archives of Neurology, individuals who eat nutrients specifically selected for brain health are 40 percent less likely to experience stroke, and subsequently AD.

Foods such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin E, antioxidants and folate are brain tonic. Vitamin B12 and saturated fatty acids, commonly found in red meat and butter, on the other hand, can boost dementia.

Folate is believed to cut AD risk through reducing the circulating levels of the blood homocysteine, while saturated fatty acids may contribute to dementia by encouraging blood clot formation, the study found.

A diet rich in olive oil-based salad dressing, nuts, fish, tomatoes, poultry, fruits and cruciferous and green leafy vegetables but poor in red meat, butter and high-fat dairy products has the most anti-Alzheimer's properties.

"Diet is probably the easiest way to modify disease risk," said lead researcher Yian Gu, stressing that prevention is the most effective measure in fighting dementia.