Plant-based diet linked to reducing Alzheimer’s risk

Yvonne O'Halloran

A new study has been published, possibly connecting a plant-based diet with reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The observational study, funded by the National Institute of Aging (NIA), included data from approximately 3,000 participants and looked at the effects of different healthy behaviors. Participants were scored based on their commitment to physical activity, not smoking, light-to-moderate alcohol consumption, a high-quality diet, and cognitive activities. According to the study, participants who adhered to at least four out of these five behaviors had a 60% lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

One of the healthy lifestyle factors featured adherence to a “high-quality, Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet.” The MIND diet is known for combining the Mediterannean diet and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet. Simply put, the MIND diet primarily consists of plant-based foods that are believed to prevent dementia.

According to the Director of the NIA, Richard J. Hodes, M.D., “The findings strengthen the association between healthy behaviors and lower risk, and add to the basis for controlled clinical trials to directly test the ability of interventions to slow or prevent development of Alzheimer’s disease.”

Alzheimer’s disease affects around 50 million people worldwide and is the main cause of dementia, affecting people’s memory, thought, language, and mood. With no proven ways to reverse the disease, it is important to learn how the average person can prevent it. Now, Alzheimer’s joins other diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, that can possibly be prevented with a healthy vegan lifestyle.

Article written by Tessa Altman- United States

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