Nutrition News

Mediterranean Diet Improves Brain Function And Could Prevent Dementia, Study Suggests

Adding a handful of nuts and extra virgin olive oil to your Mediterranean diet may improve brain function and counteract the effects of aging on the brain, a new clinical study suggests.

The study published on May 11, 2015, in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, was led by Emilio Ros at Hospital Clinic, part of the University of Barcelona, with the goal of determining whether a Mediterranean diet with added antioxidant-rich foods, such as nuts and extra virgin olive oil, can lead to improved cognitive function compared with a control diet.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the study involved 447 cognitively healthy volunteers, aged 55 to 80, from Barcelona, Spain, who were at cardiovascular risk. The participants were divided into three separate groups. Two groups followed the Mediterranean diet and added either five tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil a day, or 30 grams of mixed nuts, containing hazelnuts, walnuts and almonds. The third group, advised to follow a low-fat diet, was a control group.

After four years, the results showed that memory function remained stronger in a group that followed Mediterranean diet with added nuts, while the Mediterranean diet with extra virgin olive oil group had increased frontal cognition, responsible for attention and executive functions.

[quote text_size=”small” author_title=”– Jane Cerhan” author_title=”Clinical neuropsychologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn”]

The changes observed in cognition were very small, and didn’t actually show that those diets improved cognition, they just showed less decline. (…) The people shouldn’t rush to buy loads of nuts and olive oil, they should just follow a balanced diet that includes healthy foods such as these.


“The people who participated in this study did not have dementia, so we can’t be sure if Mediterranean diet could actually prevent the condition,” said Dr Simon Ridley, head of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK. “Larger trials and more research is needed to better understand the effects of diet on dementia risk and cognitive functions, such as memory and thinking,” he concluded.

In other health related news here on Immortal News, two studies conducted by a team of international scientists reveal that binge drinking increases heart attack risk by 70 percent and causes brain damage.

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