A new study provides more evidence that following a Mediterranean-type diet (MeDi) is good for the brain.
In a multiethnic cohort of elderly dementia-free adults, those more adherent to the MeDi had larger brain volume than their less adherent peers. And the difference between the groups is equal to about 5 years of aging.
"Our study adds to the existing literature showing that Mediterranean diet is a healthy diet," Yian Gu, PhD, from Columbia University in New York City, and member of the American Academy of Neurology, told Medscape Medical News.
"These results are exciting, as they raise the possibility that people may potentially prevent brain shrinking and the effects of aging on the brain simply by following a healthy diet," Dr Gu added in a news release.
The study was published online October 21 in Neurology.
The study involved 674 elderly individuals (mean age, 80.1 years) from the Washington Heights/Hamilton Inwood Columbia Aging Project (WHICAP). They completed food-frequency questionnaires regarding their diet over the past 12 months and underwent high-resolution structural MRI.
According to the diet history, 304 participants had "higher" adherence to the MeDi (they followed the MeDi principles in at least five food components, higher consumption of healthy foods, or lower consumption of unhealthy foods, achieving a MeDi score of 5 to 9) and 370 individuals had "lower" adherence to the MeDi principles (MeDi score, 0 to 4)./.../