An American expert said that diet is just one aspect of the image of Alzheimer’s.
“We continue to see literature turn nutrition and diet and what it could mean in later life, ”said Heather Snyder, vice president of medical and science relations for the Alzheimer’s Association.
Diet, however, is not the only lifestyle factor that can reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease, he said.
“I think the data continues to evolve and show that lifestyle interventions are likely to be beneficial in reducing cognitive impairment,” Snyder said.
Other lifestyle components, such as exercise, are also important, he said. It is still unclear how diet and exercise reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.
“I think the key is to really understand what this recipe is, because it’s unlikely to be something unique,” Snyder said. “The combination and synergy of these behaviors is more likely to be the most beneficial.”
Snyder noted that these same lifestyle factors help reduce risk cardiovascular disease and even some cancers. “But there is a need to test how and which can be the most beneficial for each of these,” he added.
“When we examine Alzheimer’s and cognition and cognitive impairment, we have consistently seen that diets like the Mediterranean diet are associated with a lower risk in later life. What they all have in common is that a balanced diet ensures that the brain has the nutrients it needs, ”Snyder said.
“I think what we know is good for your heart is good for your brain, so go on a balanced diet,” he said. “There’s no proper diet, but make sure you get all the nutrients you need, but also get active, move, and stay engaged.”
The report was published online in the journal on May 5th Neurology.
For more information on Alzheimer’s disease and diet, see the document Alzheimer’s Association.
SOURCES: Tommaso Ballarini, PhD, German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Bonn, Germany; Heather Snyder, PhD, Vice President, Medical and Scientific Relations, Alzheimer’s Association; Neurology, May 5, 2021, online