how to keep your brain sharp

A mediterranean diet helps keep your brain sharp

I have written before about the association between high cholesterol levels and brain plaques that cause Alzheimer’s Disease. 

Today we look at a study from the University of Alabama that suggests that eating a Mediterranean diet with more omega-3 rich foods and avoiding saturated fats may be linked to preserving memory and thinking abilities.

Published in Neurology Journal, the researchers emphasised that as there are no definitive treatments for most dementing illnesses, diet takes on great importance.

The study enrolled 30,239 people ages 45 and older between January 2003 and October 2007.  It was the largest study yet done on the Mediterranean diet, collecting dietary information from 17,478 African-Americans and Caucasians.

The study found that in healthy people, those who more closely followed the Mediterranean diet were 19 percent less likely to develop problems with their thinking and memory skills.

The study leader commented, “Diet is an important modifiable activity that could help in preserving cognitive functioning in late life. However, it is only one of several important lifestyle activities that might play a role in late-life mental functioning.

“Exercise, avoiding obesity, not smoking cigarettes and taking medications for conditions like diabetes and hypertension are also important.”

The study was supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, one of the National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Health and Human Services.

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