MedDiet has varied effects on cognitive decline among different races

While the Mediterranean diet may have broad health benefits, its impact on cognitive decline differs among race-specific populations, according to a new study published in the Journal of Gerontology.

The team of researchers, including Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU Prof. Danit R. Shahar RD, Ph.D, analyzed an NIH/NIA [Health ABC] conducted over eight years in the U.S. to measure the effects of adherence to a Mediterranean diet. Prof. Shahar is affiliated with the BGU S. Daniel Abraham International Center for Health and Nutrition, Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences.

The Mediterranean-style diet (MedDiet) has fewer meat products and more plant-based foods and from olive and canola oil (good) than a typical American diet.

To assess the association between MedDiet score and brain function, the researchers used data of several Modified Mini-Mental State Examinations (3MS) on 2,326 participating older adults (70-79). The 3MS is an extensively used and validated instrument designed to measure several cognitive domains to screen for cognitive impairment and commonly used to screen for dementia.

"In a population of initially well-functioning older adults, we found a significant correlation between strong adherence to the Mediterranean diet and a slower rate of cognitive decline among African American, but not white, older adults. Our study is the first to show a possible race-specific association between the Mediterranean and cognitive decline."

The researchers note that further studies in diverse populations are necessary to confirm association between the MedDiet and , and to pinpoint factors that may explain these results.

More information: Journal of Gerontology www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24994847

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Pregnant woman taken off life support in Ireland

13 hours ago

A brain-dead pregnant woman was taken off life support Friday after a court ruled that her 18-week-old fetus was doomed to die—a case that exposed fear and confusion among doctors over how to apply Ireland's ...

'Tis the season to overeat

Dec 25, 2014

(HealthDay)—Overeating is common during the holidays, but there are strategies that can help you eat in moderation, an expert says.

Don't let burns mar your holidays

Dec 25, 2014

(HealthDay)—The risk of burns from fires and cooking accidents increases during the holidays, so you need to be extra cautious, an expert says.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.