April 18, 2006
Mediterranean Diet Appears To Lower Alzheimers Risk
More fish, vegetables, olive oil and fruits combined with less meat and dairy appear to the lower the risk of Alzheimer's Disease.
Overall, each additional unit of the Mediterranean diet adherence score (a zero to nine-point scale) was associated with a 9% to 10% decreased risk for Alzheimer's, reported Nikolaos Scarmeas, M.D., of Columbia University here, and colleagues, in the April issue of the Annals of Neurology and published online.
Compared with participants who had the lowest adherence to the diet, the risk for those with the highest adherence was 39% to 40% lower, while those in the middle tertile had a decreased Alzheimer's risk of 15% to 21%. This, the investigators said, showing a significant dose response, and sensitivity analysis did not change these findings.
The result comes from a diet study of elderly people.
Scarmeas followed more than 2,000 cognitively normal elderly people from Manhattan, with an average age of 77 years, for about four years. Every 18 months the participants filled out a dietary questionnaire asking them about what they consumed and how often. In total, 262 of the participants developed Alzheimer's during the course of the study.
The changes that lead to Alzheimer's start happening decades before the full blown disease. Therefore following a better diet makes sense even if you are fairly young.
The Mediterranean diet has two other advantages. It tastes good and it lowers heart attack risk.
Contrast that with the Japanese and granola eater's diet of soy products and tofu. Not only does it taste bad, it causes Alzheimer's.
It doesn't taste bad. In reference to Japanese food. I eat it almost daily as my wife is Japanese. Also how does it cause Alzheimer's? To my knowledge Japanese not only live the longest but also have one of the healthiest older populations on earth.
The only thing I've noticed bad about the typical Japanese diet is that it is high in carbs, which if you have a low metabolism, all those rice and noodles will put on weight, but same goes for Italian food. Japanese food is also very high in sodium...because they put soy sauce in everything. It doesn't seem to bother Japanese much, I think they evolved to handle it but for Western people maybe low sodium soy sauce is best.
From the study I referenced above:
"The more tofu eaten, the greater the likelihood of mental decline according to Lon White, MD, of the Hawaii Center for Health Research and lead author of the study. Dr. White said that both men and women eating the most tofu were up to twice as likely to show some signs of impaired mental function later in life than those who rarely ate tofu."
Tofu is not in every or most Japanese dishes.
That is like saying a Med. diet is not good, because many people on the Med eat red meat, including fatty goat meat, pork, beef, etc.
This also does not say Tofu leads to Alzheimers. It says impaired mental fuction. I would like to see this further defined. This could mean many things.
Personally, I avoid soy because I notice that when I consume even rather small quantities, my menstrual cycle gets thrown off. I know it's not a placebo effect because once it happened to me when I (thought I) wasn't eating any soy, but I finally read the contents of my vitamin E supplement and it turned out to be soy oil-based. When I threw that product in the trash, my periods normalized. I'm Anglo, though, and I doubt this would happen to a Japanese woman.
Remember the estrogen-mimicking compounds in soy evolved to eliminate the plant's mammalian predators, by lowering their fertility. Those isoflavones aren't there to do *us* any favors. If you are descended from a traditionally soy-consuming population, you've probably got some kind of genetic protection. But I'm concerned about the rest of us.
I would think there is some kind of genetic protection, Japan is the size of California, which even less arridable land and has over 120 million people. China has 1.3 billion. Both populations eat soy based food products and neither has a problem reproducing. :-)
I have heard that soy (due to the hormones) tends to make men less masculant. I read a short study on it, but I can't seem to find it anywhere.