Dementia is a growing problem of the ageing population. It affects a large number of elders. Diet has a preventive role in this condition. A new study found that those who had a diet of fruits, vegetables, tea, coffee and legumes had lesser risk of dementia developing. These are anti-inflammatory foods. Read on to know the full details of the study and its findings.
Dementia in the world
Dementia is a neurological problem that crops up following an injury or disease. It usually affects the ageing brain. Around 55 million people in the world suffer from this problem. There is loss of memory, difficulty in language and problem solving, impaired reasoning and personality changes. All these are severe enough to affect daily activities and reduces the quality of life. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia.
60% of the demented people are from the low and middle income countries of the world. Here access to good medical care is limited. Moreover, the condition has not many treatment options at present. These cases are expected to rise to 78 million in 2030 and 139 million in 2050.
The new study
The reputed medical journal, Neurology, of the American Association of Neurology has reported a new study that tried to find the link between diet, foods, and dementia. 1059 people from Greece formed the study group. The average age was 73 years. These people had no dementia at the start of the study. All the recruits were followed up for three years. The relationship between diet and development of dementia was studied.
The study showed that people on a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods had three times less risk of having dementia. These people had almost 20 pieces of fruit, four servings of legumes, 19 servings of vegetables, and 11 cups of coffee or tea in a week. The risk was higher in those who had lesser amounts of these anti-inflammatory foods.
These foods and drinks contain certain useful components that can fight body inflammation. Thus, they prevent brain degeneration and improve cognition.
What authors say?
Nikolaos Scarmeas, is one of the study author. He is from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in Greece, and is also a Fellow at the American Academy of Neurology. Nikolaos states:
“There may be some potent nutritional tools in your home to help fight the inflammation that could contribute to brain ageing,”
“Diet is a lifestyle factor you can modify, and it might play a role in combating inflammation, one of the biological pathways contributing to risk for dementia and cognitive impairment later in life.”
Also, read here: Dementia: Foods to boost brain and avert dementia!
The authors feel that they study can help doctors prescribe tailor made dietary interventions to combat the brain decline with age. Dr. Nikolaos adds:
‘These findings suggest that people could protect their brains by eating more healthily,”
“As people can change their diets, they might want to think about eating anti-inflammatory foods like fruit and vegetables and avoiding more inflammatory choices like very high-calorie foods,”