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Diet and Alzheimer’s

Last year, researchers at Columbia University published the results of a study regarding the dietary intake of individuals who developed Alzheimer’s, and how it compared with foods eaten by those who remained free of the disease.  They followed more than 2,000 adults over the age of 65 over several years, 253 of which eventually developed Alzheimer’s.  Study participants provided information about their diets, and were tested for symptoms of Alzheimer’s, every 1 1/2 years.  After approximately four years, the researchers determined that they had discovered patterns in the intake of those who developed the disease and those who did not.

Those study participants who remained free of Alzheimer’s typically ate a diet which was high in omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin E, and folate.  They also ate diets relatively low in saturated fats and vitamin B-12.  This group was found to have a 38% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s, as compared to other study participants.  (It should be noted that the use of supplements and alcohol did not play a part in the study.)

Researchers theorized that each of the above-mentioned nutrients plays a different role in the prevention of Alzheimer’s.  For example, vitamin E has a strong anti-oxidant effect, and omega-3 fatty acids may contribute an anti-inflammatory effect.  But, personally speaking, it’s always a good idea to eat a healthy selection of foods as part of our daily regimen.  Whether or not these foods have a specific relationship with the prevention of Alzheimer’s, being in generally better health can’t hurt.

Other recommendations include lowering our intake of high-fat dairy, butter, red meat, and organ meat.  Foods that fall in the category of being more desirable include:

— Beets

—  Olive oil

—  Nuts

— Fish

—  Tomatoes

—  Poultry

—  Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower)

—  Fruits

—  Green leafy vegetables

  1. Julie Stonehocker
    August 11, 2012 at 7:00 PM

    You have not even boarded the plane and I have found your website. Am thankful for the time we had today. You are amazing and I think what you have put together here is very proactive.

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