Exercise or adherence to the Mediterranean diet lowers the risk of dementia; the protection is even greater if you do both

August 18, 2009

The Mediterranean diet is very-low in meat and rich in fresh fruits, nuts, seeds, grains, legumes, vegetables, fish, some red wine, and includes quality olive oil as the source of fat (mostly other than fish). In a previous study Dr. N Scarmeas from Colombia University and his team demonstrated that elderly New Yorkers who eat a diet close to the Mediterranean one lowered their risk of Alzheimers by about 40%.

A newer study from France confirms these results. Now Dr Scarmeas and his team have updated their earlier study this time looking at exercise. They found that elderly people who get the most exercise get the least Alzheimers disease.

The effects add up; those elderly who exercise frequently and adhere to the Mediterranean diet had up to a 67% decrease in their risk of Alzheimers disease. The study is published in the August 12t, 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.