mental health

Risk of Cognitive Decline Lower With Adherence to Mediterranean-Style Diets

Adherence to a Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) and the Mediterranean-DASH diet Intervention for Neurodegeneration Delay (MIND diet) was associated with a lower risk of cognitive impairment and with better cognitive function, according to the results of a recent study.

In their population-based cross-sectional study, researchers administered food frequency questionnaires to 5907 community-dwelling adults, mean age 67.8 ± 10.8 years, and used the scores of these questionnaires to create diet scores for both the MedDiet (0-55) and the MIND diet (0-15). A composite test score of global function (0-27) was used to measure cognitive performance.

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Overall, participants with mid and high MedDiet and MIND diet scores had a lower risk of cognitive impairment than individuals with low scores. Higher scores were also associated with significantly better cognitive function in a dose-response manner.

“In a large nationally representative population of older adults, greater adherence to the MedDiet and MIND diet was independently associated with better cognitive function and lower risk of cognitive impairment. Clinical trials are required to elucidate the role of dietary patterns in cognitive aging,” the researchers concluded.

—Michael Potts


McEvoy CT, Guyer H, Langa KM, Yaffe K. Neuroprotective diets are associated with better cognitive function: the health and retirement study [published online April 25, 2017]. J Am Geriatr Soc. doi:10.1111/jgs.14922.