Mediterranean Eating Habits Prove Good for the Brain

As published by Scientific American, by Dina Fine Maron  

A Mediterranean-style diet may slow memory loss, even if adopted late in life.

A pilot study published in June in the Lancet found that making changes in diet and habits later in life can slow the course of cognitive decline. Scandinavian researchers divided a group of 1,260 people in Finland either to receive standard nutrition and diet advice or to follow a specified exercise plan and eat a modified Mediterranean diet—all while their blood pressure and other health indicators were monitored and, if necessary, treated.

Subjects in the experimental group ended up doing significantly better on standard tests of cognition. “We could really see that [the intervention] can protect against or at least delay cognitive impairments,” says lead study author Miia Kivipelto, director of research and education at the geriatric clinic at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. Unexpectedly, she says, those changes were visible within just two years.

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