MedDiet has varied effects on cognitive decline among different races

July 16, 2014

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.

Explore further: Research confirms Mediterranean diet is good for the mind

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

Related Stories

Research confirms Mediterranean diet is good for the mind

September 3, 2013
The first systematic review of related research confirms a positive impact on cognitive function, but an inconsistent effect on mild cognitive impairment

Study shows no evidence Mediterranean diet helps prevent cognitive decline

January 29, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—Researchers from the Sorbonne in France have published the results of a study they carried out to determine if eating a Mediterranean diet helps prevent dementia as people age. They found, as they report ...

Can a change in diet reduce onset of dementia? Studies indicate yes

February 21, 2014
Data suggesting that nutrition plays a major role in the risk of dementia and cognitive decline continue to accumulate. This is good news, as it suggests that there is a lot that each of us can do individually to lower our ...

Mediterranean diet linked with lower risk of heart disease among young US workers

February 4, 2014
Among a large group of Midwestern firefighters, greater adherence to Mediterranean-style diet was associated with lower risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to a new study led by researchers from Harvard ...

Recommended for you

Study finds 275,000 calls to poison control centers for dietary supplement exposures from 2000 through 2012

July 24, 2017
U.S. Poison Control Centers receive a call every 24 minutes, on average, regarding dietary supplement exposures, according to a new study from the Center for Injury Research and Policy and the Central Ohio Poison Center, ...

Alcohol to claim 63,000 lives over next five years, experts warn

July 24, 2017
Alcohol consumption will cause 63,000 deaths in England over the next five years – the equivalent of 35 deaths a day – according to a new report from the University of Sheffield Alcohol Research Group.

App lets patients work alone or with others to prevent, monitor, and reverse chronic disease

July 24, 2017
Lack of patient adherence to treatment plans is a lingering, costly problem in the United States. But MIT Media Lab spinout Twine Health is proving that regular interventions from a patient's community of supporters can greatly ...

Alcohol boosts recall of earlier learning

July 24, 2017
Drinking alcohol improves memory for information learned before the drinking episode began, new research suggests.

To combat teen smoking, health experts recommend R ratings for movies that depict tobacco use

July 21, 2017
Public health experts have an unusual suggestion for reducing teen smoking: Give just about any movie that depicts tobacco use an automatic R rating.

Why sugary drinks and protein-rich meals don't go well together

July 20, 2017
Having a sugar-sweetened drink with a high-protein meal may negatively affect energy balance, alter food preferences and cause the body to store more fat, according to a study published in the open access journal BMC Nutrition.

0 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.