For years, nutritionists and neurologists have been examining the link between the foods people eat and the risk of developing dementia. At the recent 2017 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, experts presented evidence from four major studies that help firm our understanding of dietary choices that protect the brain.
In a resolution statement at the conference, which was held in London this year, the Association’s chief science officer, Maria Carrillo, Ph.D., stated “We are determined to develop and deliver a more specific recipe for Alzheimer’s risk reduction. We now can effectively prevent or treat heart disease, cancer and HIV/AIDS with combinations of drugs and lifestyle. The same may also be true for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias in the not too distant future.”
The experts said that one-third of all cases of dementia could be prevented through lifestyle changes — and the role of diet received much attention in four studies:
Said Alzheimer’s Association scientist Keith Fargo, Ph.D. “Although the idea that a healthy diet can help protect against cognitive decline as we age is not new, the size and length of these four studies demonstrate how powerful good dietary practices may be in maintaining brain health and function.” However, said Fargo, “We must understand that what we eat is just one part of the puzzle. Adapting our lifestyles as we get older – for example by exercising regularly, watching what we eat and engaging in lifelong learning – is important in order to maximize the potential to reduce risk of cognitive decline and dementia.”
A July 17, 2017 news release from the Alzheimer’s Association explores these studies in more depth. If you have questions about the foods you should be eating, talk to your doctor about a diet that’s right for you.