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Diet may significantly affect development of Alzheimer's


Diet may more profoundly affect Alzheimer’s than previously thought, both in preventing the initial development of the disease and in diminishing its advance. People with diets high in vitamins C, D, E and B and omega 3 fatty acids are less likely to have brain shrinkage which is a key indicator of Alzheimer’s. People with this diet also had higher scores on mental thinking tests than people who did not.

Omega 3s are found in cold water fish like salmon and sardines. The other vitamins are plentiful in vegetables and fruits.

The study also found that people who had diets high in trans fats suffered more from dementia than those people who limited their trans fat intake. The high trans fat consumers had more brain shrinkage and lower memory test scores. Trans fats are found in highly processed foods with a long shelf life, fast, fried and frozen foods as well as margarine.

“These results need to be confirmed, but obviously it is very exciting to think that people could potentially stop their brains from shrinking and keep them sharp by adjusting their diet,” said study author Gene Bowman, ND, MPH, of Oregon Health & Science University of Portland and a member of the American Academy of Neurology.

This study used biomarkers in blood and brain scans to analyst the effect of diet on memory and thinking skills. Other studies have used questionnaires and did not account for nutrients not absorbed by the body which is a significant factor in diets of the elderly.

Source: Neurology, ScienceDaily

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