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Can Mediterranean and Keto Diets Treat Alzheimer’s?

Neurological diseases are the second leading causes of death worldwide, and of the forms of senile dementia, Alzheimer’s tops the list.

While there are many factors that can contribute to developing Alzheimer’s, there are lifestyle measures – especially diet – that may be able to slow its progression. Interestingly, two types of diets, the Mediterranean and the Keto diet, appear to be the best.

Even though both diets appear to be very different from each other, both emphasize the importance of healthy fats and proteins, as well as avoiding overly refined carbohydrates. This selectivity in foods helps anyone following the diet to eliminate much of the oxidative stress and inflammation associated with what are commonly called “empty” calories.

The result of each type of diet is less likelihood of blood sugar issues and other metabolic syndrome-related issues that can also be associated with cognitive decline.

The Mediterranean diet has been shown to improve cognitive performance and help balance levels of gut bacteria, which also has an effect on overall inflammatory loads in the body. The Keto diet, likewise, has shown improvements on verbal memory and other brain functions.

In either case, this review points out the critical connection between what we eat, and our overall health of body and mind.

Abstract:

Vinciguerra F, Graziano M, Hagnäs M, Frittitta L, Tumminia A. Influence of the Mediterranean and Ketogenic Diets on Cognitive Status and Decline: A Narrative Review. Nutrients. 2020 Apr 8;12(4):1019. doi: 10.3390/nu12041019. PMID: 32276339; PMCID: PMC7231139.

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of senile dementia, accounting for up to 70% of dementia cases. AD is a slowly progressive disease, which causes global mental deterioration by affecting various cognitive areas. A growing body of evidence has demonstrated that lifestyle habits and nutritional patterns could delay the natural course of the neurodegeneration process. There is no single dietary pattern unequivocally proven to prevent AD. Nevertheless, epidemiological data suggest that by adopting several dietary habits, especially if accompanied with a healthy lifestyle, the negative consequences of AD could potentially be delayed. Alongside with others, two specific eating patterns have been well investigated concerning their potential beneficial effect on cognitive status: the Mediterranean diet (MedDi) and the Ketogenic Diet (KD). Despite the different underlying mechanisms, both of them have demonstrated a fairly profitable role in reducing or delaying cognitive impairment. The aim of the present narrative review is to overview the existing research on the efficacy of MedDi and KD against AD-related cognitive decline, focusing on the proposed protective mechanisms of action. Although the current knowledge on this complex topic does not allow us, at this point, to make exhaustive conclusions, this information could be of help in order to better characterize the possible role of MedDi and KD as nonpharmacological therapies in the treatment of AD and, more generically, of neurodegenerative disorders.

Here is the link to the complete article: Influence of the Mediterranean and Ketogenic Diets on Cognitive Status and Decline: A Narrative Review

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Terry is happy to provide his opinion on diet and nutrition, supplements and lifestyle choices. This information is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the advice of your physician and is not to be considered medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Should you have any concerns please contact your physician directly.
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