Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Mediterranean Diet And Brain Atrophy

The Study

In this 18 month randomized trial, 284 subjects were assigned to a Mediterranean diet or given generic healthy diet guidelines. Brain structure volumes were measured both before and after the intervention with an MRI.

When looking at subjects 50 and older, those in the Mediterranean diet group had an attenuated decline in hippocampal occupancy score. This is a part of the brain that deals with learning and memory. The atrophy of this brain structure is associated with age related neuro-degenerative disease.

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2022; 115:1270-81.

Take Home Message

The Mediterranean diet has been associated with numerous health benefits for decades in the research literature. This study provides evidence that it may also slow age-related cognitive decline.

The authors theorized that the diet’s positive impact on glycemic control, weight loss and blood pressure could be possible reasons for the association found in this investigation.

It is a great idea to follow a Mediterranean diet. It is also pretty easy to follow:

Carbs:  Focus on fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains.

Fats: Focus on healthy vegetable oils like olive oil and canola oil, nuts, nut butters, seeds and avocados.

Protein: Focus on lean meats like chicken and turkey, seafood, low fat dairy, beans and other legumes.

Strictly limit: Refined carbs (added sugars, bread, pasta, white rice), processed meat and red meat.


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