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Dietary pattern identified to prevent Alzheimer's disease

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By David Liu, PHD

Monday Oct 29, 2012 (foodconsumer.org) --Researchers from Columbia University have identified a dietary pattern that can reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease, a lethal disease that affects millions of elderly people in the U.S. but has no cure.

Y. Gu of the Taub Institute for Research in Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain at Columbia University in New York, New York and colleagues published a study in Archives of Neurology saying that men and women who closely followed a dietary pattern that is similar to Mediterranean diet were 38 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease during a 3.8 years of follow-up.

The dietary pattern was featured with high amounts of salad dressing, nuts, fish, tomatoes, poultry, cruciferous vegetables, fruit, and dark and green leafy vegetables and low amounts of high fat dairy products, red meat, organ meats and butter.
For the prospective cohort study, 2148 community based elderly people aged 65 years of age or older without dementia at baseline who resided in New York reported their dietary practice and got examined every one and half a year for neurological disorders like Alzheimer's disease.

Using a statistical method called reduced rank regression, the researchers constructed dietary patterns that were able to explain variation in seven potentially Alzheimer's disease related nutrients including saturated fat, monounsaturated fat, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamin E, vitamin B(12), and folate.

Compared to those in the lowest tertile of adherence to this dietary pattern, men and women in the highest tertile of adherence were at 38 percent reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease.  The association was derived after adjustment for other factors.

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