`Mediterranean Diet Good for the Brain - Olive Oil Times

Mediterranean Diet Good for the Brain

By Elena Paravantes
Sep. 9, 2013 10:01 UTC

Several stud­ies have pointed to the Mediterranean diet as hav­ing a pro­tec­tive effect against decline of cog­ni­tive func­tion that often comes with aging, how­ever, until just recently, there was no sys­tem­atic review of the research.

A group of researchers from the University of Exeter Medical School ana­lyzed twelve stud­ies that exam­ined the rela­tion­ship between cog­ni­tive func­tion and the Mediterranean diet. The review pub­lished in the July issue of the jour­nal Epidemiology, showed that in nine out of the twelve stud­ies, higher adher­ence to the Mediterranean diet was asso­ci­ated with bet­ter cog­ni­tive func­tion, lower rates of cog­ni­tive decline and a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s dis­ease.

Previous stud­ies have shown that the con­sump­tion of foods rich in antiox­i­dants such as olive oil, fruit, veg­eta­bles and nuts are asso­ci­ated with bet­ter cog­ni­tive per­for­mance. This effect is seen with a Mediterranean diet pat­tern as a whole, but also for spe­cific foods inde­pen­dently. For exam­ple wal­nuts have been found to be asso­ci­ated with bet­ter work­ing mem­ory and olive oil with imme­di­ate ver­bal mem­ory.

The researchers of this par­tic­u­lar review noted that while obser­va­tional stud­ies pro­vide sug­ges­tive evi­dence, ran­dom­ized con­trolled tri­als are needed to con­firm whether or not adher­ence to a Mediterranean diet pro­tects against demen­tia.


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