A Healthy Diet May Slow Alzheimer's

In a study, individuals whose diets were rich in essential vitamins performed better on cognitive tests and showed less brain shrinkage, a symptom of Alzheimer's, as they aged.

What's the Latest Development?

Individuals with healthy diets, rich in essential vitamins and omega 3 fatty acids, performed better on cognitive tasks and showed less brain shrinkage in old age, says a new study on health and cognitive decline. "US experts analyzed blood samples from 104 healthy people with an average age of 87 who had few known risk factors for Alzheimer's." That  blood samples were taken as a measure of health is significant because past experiments have typically relied on questionnaires, which are thought to be a less objective measure.

What's the Big Idea?

The research suggests that the presence of nutrients in the blood, often thought of as an indicator of bodily health, also has a significant bearing on brain function. The degree to which a healthy diet affects the development of Alzheimer's disease, however, remains unclear. Dr Simon Ridley, head of research at Alzheimer's Research UK, said: "It's important to note that this study looked at a small group of people with few risk factors for Alzheimer's disease, and did not investigate whether they went on to develop Alzheimer's at a later stage."

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