Mediterranean Diet Seen to Protect Aging Brains, But for Reasons That Baffle

Mediterranean Diet Seen to Protect Aging Brains, But for Reasons That Baffle
A Mediterranean diet may protect against the loss of brain volume associated with aging, researchers report. But eating more fish and less meat was not seen to be related to such beneficial changes, which suggests that other components of the Mediterranean diet — or the sum of all its parts — may be what works to protect the aging brain. The study, “Mediterranean-Type Diet And Brain Structural Change From 73 To 76 Years In A Scottish Cohort” and published in the journal Neurology, was conducted by researchers at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. "As we age, the brain shrinks and we lose brain cells which can affect learning and memory," Michelle Luciano, PhD, and the study's first author, said in a news release. "This study adds to the body of evidence that suggests the Mediterranean diet has a positive impact on brain health." People who follow a Mediterranean diet usually eat large amounts of fruits and vegetables, olive oil, beans and cereal grains (wheat and rice, for example), as well as moderate amounts of fish, dairy products and wine, but low quantities of red meat and poultry. Researchers asked 967 people, all around 70 years of age with no symptoms of dementia, to complete a questionnaire on their eating habits and diet. Of this group, 562 underwent an MRI scan over the next three years to assess overall brain volume, gray matter volume, and thickness of the cortex (the outer layer of the brain). Three years later, 401 people
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2 comments

  1. Michael Rich says:

    Maybe it is simply a result that the Mediterranean diet has a lot of healthy plant-based whole food. So it was not the fish or olive oil just the effects of plants-based whole food on the brain.

  2. Eliminating omega 6- a quart of olive oil per week in the Med diet- may be the dominant effect. Omega 3/6 change is a major Western diet change that has been roughly concordant with the rise of AD. GWAnstadt

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