Peer Reviewed


Dementia Risk Is Reduced By Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Older adults who consume an anti-inflammatory diet may reduce their risk for incident dementia, according to the results of a recent study.

To better understand how an anti-inflammatory diet may impact the risk for cognitive impairment, the researchers conducted a population-based study of individuals from the Hellenic Longitudinal Investigation of Aging and Diet (HELLIAD) study. A biomarker-validated diet inflammatory index (DII) was used to determine the inflammatory potential of each participant’s diet. To measure consumption frequency, participants completed a food frequency questionnaire, which was standardized for 11 countries.

Of the 1059 total participants, 62 had developed incident dementia. The results indicated that there was a 21% increase in the risk for incident dementia with each additional unit of DII. Participants in the highest DII tertile were 3 times more likely to develop incident dementia when compared with those in the lowest DII tertile. Further, the results indicated a potential dose-response relationship, as the test for trend was also significant.

“In the present study, higher DII scores (indicating greater pro-inflammatory diet potential) were associated with an increased risk for incident dementia,” the researchers concluded. “These findings might avail the development of primary dementia preventive strategies through tailored and precise dietary interventions.”

—Leigh Precopio


Charisis S, Ntanasi E, Yannakoulia M, et al. Diet inflammatory index and dementia incidence. Neurology. Published online November 10, 2021.