No need to withhold cheese and wine this Christmas: study shows they can REDUCE risk of Alzheimer’s and age-related cognitive decline
- Researchers in the US studied the diets of nearly 1,800 Britons for a decade.
- They compared this information with tests of their cognitive ability over time.
- Certain foods, which also included lamb, seem to help protect the brain.
- On the contrary, they warned, a diet that includes too much salt can be harmful.
Eating cheese regularly, lamb once a week and enjoying a daily glass of red wine can help prevent Alzheimer’s and age-related cognitive decline, a study concluded.
American researchers analyzed the diet and cognitive powers of nearly 1,800 Britons over a period of a decade to identify foods that might have beneficial effects.
They found that the best way to reduce the risk of dementia is by living a healthy lifestyle and eating foods that increase the levels of protein in the brain that protect it.
On the contrary, they warned that the risk can increase, among those who are already susceptible to Alzheimer’s and cognitive decline, by eating too much salt.
Eating cheese regularly, lamb once a week and enjoying a daily glass of red wine can help prevent age-related cognitive decline, a study concluded. In the photo, cheese and wine
In their study, Iowa State University food scientist Auriel Willette and his colleagues analyzed the diets and cognitive abilities of 1,787 Britons, each aged between 46 and 77, over a period of one year. decade.
The data was collected through the UK Biobank, a large-scale biomedical database containing detailed health and genetic information on half a million participants.
Each of the study participants was asked to detail their dietary intake, taking into account foods such as fruits, vegetables, fish, meats, cheeses, breads, cereals, tea, coffee, and assorted alcoholic beverages.
The team also had each subject complete so-called Fluid Intelligence Tests, assessments that provide a snapshot of one’s ability to ‘think on the fly’, three times between 2006 and 2016.
The team found that, of the various foods consumed by the participants, cheese had the strongest association with resistance to age-related cognitive decline, even in those subjects in the later years of their lives.
Daily alcohol consumption, particularly red wine, and a weekly meal of lamb, but not other red meats, were also found to improve long-term cognitive dexterity.
Rather, the worst offenders were found to be high-salt diets, and researchers warned people at risk for Alzheimer’s to monitor their intake to avoid cognitive problems as they age.
“I was pleasantly surprised that our results suggested that eating cheese and drinking red wine responsibly on a daily basis is not only good for helping us deal with our current COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Willette.
“But perhaps also dealing with an increasingly complex world that never seems to stop,” he continued.
“ While we took into account whether this was just due to what wealthy people eat and drink, randomized clinical trials are needed to determine whether making easy changes to our diet could significantly help our brains. ”
“Depending on the genetic factors you carry, some people appear to be more protected from the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, while others appear to be at higher risk,” said article author and neuroscientist Brandon Klinedinst, also from Iowa.
“That being said, I believe that the correct food choices can prevent disease and cognitive decline entirely,” he added.
“Perhaps the miracle solution we are looking for is to improve the way we eat. Knowing what that implies contributes to a better understanding of Alzheimer’s and to put this disease on a reverse trajectory ”.
Previous studies have suggested that low-fat cheeses like mozzarella and some other dairy products like yogurt are the most beneficial for cognitive health, while cream, cheddar, and American processed cheese are the most harmful.
The full study findings were published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
WHAT IS ALZHEIMER’S?
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive and degenerative disease of the brain, in which the accumulation of abnormal proteins causes the death of nerve cells.
This disrupts the transmitters that carry messages and causes the brain to shrink.
More than 5 million people suffer from the disease in the US, where it is the sixth leading cause of death, and more than 1 million Britons suffer from it.
As brain cells die, the functions they provide are lost.
That includes memory, orientation, and the ability to think and reason.
The progression of the disease is slow and gradual.
On average, patients live five to seven years after diagnosis, but some can live ten to 15 years.
- Short-term memory loss
- Behavior changes
- Humor changes
- Difficulty handling money or making a phone call.
- Severe memory loss, forgetfulness of close relatives, familiar objects or places
- Feeling anxious and frustrated with an inability to understand the world, leading to aggressive behavior.
- You finally lose the ability to walk
- You may have trouble eating
- Most will eventually need 24-hour care.
Source: Alzheimer’s Association