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Alzheimer's prevented by Mediterranean eating

10th October 2006

Mediterranean food could reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's, a new study has found.

According to the US research, a Mediterranean diet is rich in plants and fish as well as including minimal red meat, the combined effect of which is to lower the Alzheimer's occurrence by as much as two-thirds (68 per cent).

And the reason for this is the food's impact on the arteries, conclude the study's researchers, who have said that keeping the arteries to the brain clear enables them to have better flexibility and to be more effective at transporting blood.

"Growing evidence links the Mediterranean diet to a reduced risk for vascular disease and suggests that vascular risk factors may contribute to the risk for Alzheimer's disease," said Dr Nikolaos Scarmeas, who led the study.

The study looked at the diets of 2,000 adults who had an average age of 76 over and analysed their physical and neurological function over the course of a year.

It has also been suggested that the antioxidant vitamins found in this sort of diet may be independently protecting the brain itself.