Thursday, September 05, 2013

Mediterranean diet lowers risk of developing dementia?

The last paragraph below is the operational one 

Eating a Mediterranean diet is good for the mind, research has concluded. Scientists say people who eat large quantities of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, fish and olive oil have a lower risk of age-related diseases such as dementia.

The research, by the University of Exeter’s Medical School, is the first systematic review of previous studies into the diet’s benefits to the brain.

It comes after research last month showed the same diet could help counteract a genetic risk of strokes.

The team, supported by the National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care in the South West Peninsula, analysed 12 eligible pieces of research, 11 observational studies and one randomised control trial.

In nine of the 12 studies, a higher adherence to a Mediterranean diet was associated with better cognitive function, lower rates of cognitive decline and a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

However, results for mild cognitive impairment - the stage before Alzheimer’s or dementia, when someone could be experiencing some cognitive difficulties - were inconsistent.

Lead researcher Iliana Lourida said: 'Mediterranean food is both delicious and nutritious, and our systematic review shows it may help to protect the ageing brain by reducing the risk of dementia.

'While the link between adherence to a Mediterranean diet and dementia risk is not new, ours is the first study to systematically analyse all existing evidence.'

She added: 'Our review also highlights inconsistencies in the literature and the need for further research. In particular research is needed to clarify the association with mild cognitive impairment and vascular dementia.

'It is also important to note that while observational studies provide suggestive evidence we now need randomised, controlled trials to confirm whether or not adherence to a Mediterranean diet protects against dementia.'


Women at a HEALTHY weight are more likely to get breast cancer

More evidence that fat has a protective effect

Women who are a healthy weight are more likely to get breast cancer when using hormone replacement therapy, according to a new study. Breast cancer has long been associated with the use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) during the menopause.

Scientists say this risk is increased among certain groups - including white women with a healthy body mass index (BMI).

Researchers at the University of Chicago analysed 1,642,824 mammograms, which included 9,300 breast cancer cases, from menopausal women.

Data on HRT use was analysed by ethnicity, age, BMI and breast density for the Journal of the National Cancer Institute study.

Results showed there was a 20 per cent increased risk of breast cancer associated with HRT use among white and Hispanic women, but not black women.

HRT use was more strongly associated with breast cancer risk in women with low or normal BMI, but no link was found among those with a high BMI.

Women with denser breasts also had an increased chance of breast cancer while using HRT.

The researchers found a significant relationship between breast density and HRT independent of BMI.

HRT use was not associated with breast cancer for women with high BMI and low breast density, whereas HRT use was associated with a significantly higher risk of disease for women with low or normal BMI and high breast density.

The researchers say the results show HRT may be used for some women without increasing breast cancer risk.

Lead author Dr Ningqui Hou said: ‘Black women, obese women, and women with breast tissue composed largely of fat may benefit from HRT use with minimal excess breast cancer risk.

‘Further studies to confirm these findings and provide more information on other modifiable risk factors for breast cancer in relation to HRT use are needed.’

Dr Mary Beth Terry, from the Department of Epidemiology and the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Centre at Columbia University, said: ‘Ultimately, efforts that improve risk stratification, whether made through improved risk models or through measuring valid intermediate biomarkers such as breast density, will inform appropriate use of not only HRT, but also other medications, including chemopreventive drugs.’


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