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Mediterranean diet may lower risk of dementia

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New research has found that a Mediterranean diet, rich in olive oil, nuts, fish, fruits and vegetables can lower the risk of developing dementia in later years. A study conducted by the Columbia University Medical Center has reportedly found that fewer strokes, brought on by this healthy diet, can prolong cognitive function in later years, abcnews.com reports. Western diets, like British and American diets, reportedly increase the chances of strokes and dementia, because of heavy foods, like meats and dairy.

“What we found was, those people who were following a healthier diet, more Mediterranean-like, had fewer brain infarcts, strokes, on the MRI,” Dr. Nikolaos Scarmeas  told BusinessWeek.

According to the study, which was conducted on over 700 men and women around 80 years of age, a healthy, Mediterranean-style diet lowered the risk of strokes and dementia by a whopping 36 percent.

The patients in the study, which lasted six years, were divided into three groups: those who stuck to the diet properly, those who partially did, and those who didn’t. Even those who only partially stuck to the diet showed a decrease in risk of strokes and dementia of 21 percent.

“A Mediterranean-like diet may be associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease and may lengthen survival in people with Alzheimer’s disease,” the Telegraph quotes Dr. Scarmeas as saying.

The diet, apparently beneficial for the brain, is also a good tool for weight loss and a healthy diet. Learn more about the Mediterranean diet.

Learn more about Alzheimer’s disease.

Other diets than can help with weight loss include the Hollywood diet, the Volumetrics diet, the Spectrum diet and the Perricone diet.

Image: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fruits_.jpg

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