According to an Australian review a low-fat diet along with physical and mental activity is the best way to avoid dementia late in life.
The Australian team looked at numerous studies and concluded that many drugs and supplements promoted as treatments do not work. They did find that maintaining healthy blood pressure levels and an ideal body weight, staying physically and mentally active and consuming a low-fat diet reduces the risk of developing dementia. Dr. Michael Woodward, lead researcher of the report “Dementia: Can It Be Prevented?” states a very simple fact: any advice that is good for the heart is also good for the brain. A number of dietary supplements and medications have been suggested as being useful in the prevention of dementia, but none of them have been conclusive. One small study from Portugal suggested that even coffee could prevent dementia. It made headlines in the media, especially in the American press. However this was a small study involving only 54 people in Portugal. Another study a few years ago claimed that hormone replacement therapy for menopausal women reduced the risk of dementia. Again, this study got a lot of coverage. The study had a strong selection bias: these women were generally more health conscious, in better physical health and from a more socioeconomically privileged background.
The results of this review are further confirmed by Australian and American researchers led by Dr. Ralph Martins of the Center for Aging and Alzheimer’s disease in Joondalup, Australia and Dr. Samuel Gandy of the Farber Institute of Neurosciences in Philadelphia. They found that overweight and obese people are having a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease than normal weight individuals. Increased body mass index and higher levels of plasma amyloid-beta, which is a key substance in the development of Alzheimer’s, go hand in hand.
Experts in the area of dementia caution that we cannot count on drugs and supplements, instead prevention is the key with dementia, which comes in the form of a healthy lifestyle.
More info about:
1. Research that has revealed a number of causes for Alzheimer’s disease: http://nethealthbook.com/neurology-neurological-disease/alzheimers-dementia-and-delirium/alzheimers-research/
The Medical Post, January 24,2006,page 39.
3. Blog showing that exercise delays onset of Alzheimer’s: http://www.askdrray.com/regular-exercise-will-delay-onset-of-alzheimers-or-dementia/
Last edited October 30, 2014