I blogged about a study by Gu et al on April 30, 2010, that found significantly lower incidence of Alzheimer dementia in people in Manhattan who followed this dietary pattern:
- relatively high consumption of salad dressing, nuts, fish, tomatoes, fruits, dark green leafy vegetables, and cruciferous vegetables
- relatively low consumption of poultry, red meat, butter, and high-fat dairy
Why does this matter? Five million U.S. adults have Alzheimer dementia already, and it’s going to get much worse over the coming decades.
A June, 2010, issue of Journal of the American Medical Association has a commentary by two doctors (Martha Morris, Sc.D., and Christine Tangney, Ph.D.), experts in the field of nutrition. Here’s their explanation of the NIH panel’s negative findings:
Many of the inconsistencies among studies of dietary factors can be attributed to the complexity of nutrition science and the omission of nutrition expertise in the design and analysis of both epidemiological and randomized controlled trials.
Morris and Tangney think the findings of Gu et al are valid, confirming prior studies showing benefit to diets high in vitamin E (from food) and low in saturated fat from animals. They point out that the animal foods may simply be displacing beneficial nutrients in other foods, rather than directly causing harm.
Until we have further data, anyone at risk for Alzhiemer’s may be better off following the dietary pattern above, or the Mediterranean diet. The two are similar.
Disclaimer: All matters regarding your health require supervision by a personal physician or other appropriate health professional familiar with your current health status. Always consult your personal physican before making any dietary or exercise changes.
Reference: Morris, M., & Tangney, C. Diet and Prevention of Alzheimer Disease. The Journal of the American Medical Association, 303 (2010): 2,519-2,520. doi: 10.1001/jama.2010.844