Diet and AD
Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's Disease Latest Research

Is That Meal Good for Your Brain?

The results of a new study suggest that a diet high in omega 3 fatty acids and vitamins C, D, E, and B may help ward off Alzheimer's disease. The study, published in Neurology, also showed that older adults with diets higher in trans fats had more brain shrinkage and scored lower than others their age on various thinking and memory tests. Trans fats are vegetable oils to which extra hydrogen has been added to make them last longer. They're often added to commercially prepared fried foods and baked goods, as well as stick margarine and lard.

Brain shrinkage can be associated with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.

The study looked at 104 people (average age: 87 years) who had few other risk factors for memory and thinking problems. While the results need confirmation, the findings are consistent with earlier studies linking diet to brain health in later life.

What foods may help you stay sharp and prevent your brain from shrinking? Studies point to a diet rich in fatty fish (salmon, sardines, mackerel), plus lots of fruits and vegetables. In addition, avoid foods that are processed or fried as well as packaged baked goods and margarine spreads.

Bowman GL, Silbert LS, Howieson D, Dodge HH, Traber MG, Frei B, Kaye JA, Shannon J, Quinn JF. Nutrient Biomarker Patterns, Cognitive Function and MRI Measures of Brain Aging. Neurology. 2012;78:1-1.