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  #1   ^
Old Thu, Jan-05-17, 00:31
Demi's Avatar
Demi Demi is offline
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Default Mediterranean diet helps to slow shrinking of the brain

Quote:
From The Times
London, UK
5 January, 2017

Mediterranean diet helps to slow shrinking of the brain

Sticking to a Mediterranean diet rich in fruit, vegetables and olive oil could help to slow the shrinking of the brain in old age, academics have found.

While numerous studies have shown that cardiovascular health is closely linked to the fate of the brain, there has been relatively little good quality evidence on the role that particular eating habits might play over time.

Researchers led by a team at the University of Edinburgh signed up 562 Scots aged 70 and asked them how often they ate 168 types of food.

Scientists have long been interested in the way that people who eat like southern Europeans — consuming plenty of plant-based foods while cutting down on meat and refined sugar — seem to have significantly better circulation and lower risks of heart disease and stroke.

MRI scans taken of the participants when they were 73 and again when they were 76 showed that those who followed this pattern recorded a smaller fall in the total volume of their brains than those who did not.

The brain naturally gets smaller as people age, but this process accelerates with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Overall the effect of the Mediterranean diet on brain size was about half as big as the normal impact of ageing.

Writing in the journal Neurology, the researchers said that the amount of meat and fish people ate did not seem to make much difference. “It’s possible that other components of the Mediterranean diet are responsible for this relationship, or that it’s due to all of the components in combination,” Michelle Luciano, one of the authors, said.

What is less certain is what these findings mean for people’s mental health. One study in 2009 carried out in New York suggests that the diet may be beneficial against dementia: people with mild cognitive difficulties had a 48 per cent lower chance of going on to develop Alzheimer’s disease if they followed the Mediterranean diet.

The Edinburgh study echoes the results of a similar analysis, also carried out in New York, that was published in 2015 and found that Americans who adhered to the diet had brain volumes typical of people five years their junior.

Peter Passmore, professor of ageing and geriatric medicine at Queen’s University Belfast, said that the Edinburgh study had been well designed but more research was needed to confirm the link.

“While it would seem that the loss of brain volume over time is not what anyone would want to see and therefore that preservation of volume should be a good thing in terms of cognitive ability, it is still not fully clear exactly what this means in terms of memory and dementia,” he said.

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/n...brain-090spr5fz
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  #2   ^
Old Thu, Jan-05-17, 03:47
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GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
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Thanks, Demi. Appears to be another vague epidemiological study relying on self reporting (notoriously inaccurate) that correlates food types with brain health without clarifying what the diet is and not understanding the role of each food type. No mention is made of fat type consumption or how much meat consumption is considered healthy, if any at all. With recent, sound research regarding saturated and monounsaturated fats positively contributing to brain and cardiovascular health, this "study" appears to be based only on correlation and cannot remotely presume causation.
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  #3   ^
Old Thu, Jan-05-17, 17:55
Zei Zei is offline
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Default

Do Mediterranean people really avoid meat/red meat? Or is this just wishful thinking on the part of those who want to believe meat is bad? I'm not from there so don't know what people there eat, but those fancy Italian imports at Aldi don't exactly look red meat free to me. Or low in fat, either. And taking food diaries during Lent doesn't count!
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  #4   ^
Old Thu, Jan-05-17, 18:17
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gonwtwindo gonwtwindo is offline
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I have an Italian in-law (lives in small-town Italy) and she claims to 'never' cook beef. She lived here a few years in the states and I observed that with her, it's all about chicken (plus vegetables, pasta). Lots of olive oil, low amounts of dairy - never hard cheeses by themselves. Mascarpone, ricotta, and cream cheese were sauce elements or condiment-like.

Also I don't remember my Greek grandmother using much beef. It was occasionally ground lamb, leg of lamb on holidays, and chicken...but mostly eggplant, squash, tomatoes, and pasta. Lots of lemon, garlic, olive oil. Stews were turnips, parsnips, carrots, tomatoes, onion with or without a little sliced beef. Rice was a side as was sourdough. She was born in 1896 and passed away in 1965. She babysat me so I do remember her cooking.

Yeah...that makes me old.
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  #5   ^
Old Thu, Jan-05-17, 18:22
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Liz53 Liz53 is offline
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Quote:
Sticking to a Mediterranean diet rich in fruit, vegetables and olive oil could help to slow the shrinking of the brain in old age, academics have found.


I wish they'd compare a diet rich in fruit, vegetables and olive oil with a diet rich in vegetables, meat and fish and olive oil. I bet the latter would come out ahead, but it would be interesting to see them directly compared.
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  #6   ^
Old Thu, Jan-05-17, 18:29
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cotonpal cotonpal is offline
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Nina Teicholz deconstructs the whole Mediterranean diet, how it was mostly a construct of the olive oil companies. No one seems to have paid much attention to that part of her book. I do the mostly meat, fish and vegetable diet with olive oil, coconut oil and ghee. Works for me.

Jean
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  #7   ^
Old Thu, Jan-05-17, 18:44
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Liz53 Liz53 is offline
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Plan: Mostly Fung/IDM
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I also remember the chapter on olive oil and don't confer any magical qualities to it. I was trying to offer a comparison that changed only one variable (meat/fish vs fruit).

They've done studies comparing Mediterranean and Atkins and Atkins won. I suspect meat/fish would prevail over fruit as well.

I eat basically the same as you, but with plain old butter (Kerrygold) rather than ghee. Definitely works for me.
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  #8   ^
Old Thu, Jan-05-17, 20:27
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GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
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Plan: Ketogenic (LCHFKD)
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Default

Liz, I think that comparison has a lot of merit, as so many today presume that fruit is the definition of sound nutrition. Yet, they never clarify the specific type of fruit. I doubt they were scarfing bushels of bananas. So, the mere mention of fruit as part of the diet tells us nothing. Eliminate fruit from the diet and add a moderate amount of healthy meats and local seafood. I'd bet on that combination!
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