A diet rich in fruits and vegetables as well as omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, researchers found.
Analysis of data from more than 2,000 dementia-free adults ages 65 and older revealed that persons who consumed a Mediterranean-type diet regularly were 38% less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease over about a four-year follow-up, according to Nikolaos Scarmeas, MD, of Columbia University in New York City, and colleagues.
The findings were published online in Archives of Neurology.
The dietary pattern is characterized by eating more salad dressing, nuts, tomatoes, fish, poultry, cruciferous vegetables, fruits, and dark and green leafy vegetables and lesser quantities of red meat, organ meat, butter, and high-fat dairy products, MedPage Today says.
"Following this dietary pattern seems to protect from Alzheimer's disease," said senior study author Dr. Nikolaos Scarmeas, associate professor of neurology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. But he added that "this is an observational study, not a clinical trial," meaning that researchers cannot say with certainty that eating a certain way helps prevent the disease, according to HealthDay News.