Thursday, December 20, 2012

Potential benefits of adherence to the Mediterranean diet on cognitive health.

The purpose of this review was to update available knowledge on the relationship between adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MeDi) and cognitive decline, risk of dementia or Alzheimer's Disease (AD), and to analyse the reasons for some inconsistent results across studies. The traditional MeDi has been recognised by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. This dietary pattern is characterised by a high consumption of plant foods (i.e. vegetables, fruits, legumes and cereals), a high intake of olive oil as the main source of fat, a moderate intake of fish, low-to-moderate intake of dairy products and low consumption of meat and poultry, with wine consumed in low-to-moderate amounts during meals. Beyond the well-known association between higher adherence to the MeDi and lower risk of mortality, in particular from CVD and cancer, new data from large epidemiological studies suggest a relationship between MeDi adherence and cognitive decline or risk of dementia. However, some inconsistent results have been found as well, even in Mediterranean countries.

This review analyzes the reasons likely to explain these discrepancies, and proposes that most of these differences are due to variations in the methodology used to assess MeDi adherence. Adherents to the MeDi also have a healthier lifestyle in general, which can favourably affect cognition,

Proceedings of The Nutrition Society 2012 Dec 11:1-13

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