Memory loss is one of the main early symptoms for people with dementia.
Promising news just in: health researchers at UTS Australia, have discovered: “strong links between diet, memory loss and comorbid heart disease. [Moreover], they pointed to a need for age-specific healthy eating guidelines.” This announcement will come as a relief to many people, including sufferers themselves, and their families and loved ones. It also means that there is a chance of doing something proactive that does not involve costly medical expenses.
A cross-sectional study of 72,815 people diagnosed with dementia demonstrated that 69.6% of people had at least 2 comorbidities.
A comorbidity refers to the simultaneous existence of multiple disorders, and this state appears to be very relevant in dementia patients. In fact those: “living with dementia have on average 2–8 comorbidities, which may accelerate the state of cognitive and functional impairment. Common comorbidities include: cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and hypertension.
The Nutritional Link
The connection between dementia, cognitive function or memory loss, and nutrients from food, have been put forward by the UTS researchers. This is due to the fact that the mechanisms of certain nutrients have the potential to: “lower oxidative stress, reduce inflammation, prevent vascular comorbidity, and protect against cerebrovascular diseases”. In fact, previous research indicates that vitamin E and C are linked to: a lower risk of vascular dementia, and better cognitive function. Fish can potentially improve brain function, including memory loss and cognitive function.
Eating well is beneficial for us in countless ways, and now, thanks to UTS research fellow, Dr Luna Xu’s team’s cutting-edge research, which involved studying information from around 139,000 senior Australians, it has been determined that the aforementioned links between certain food groups, and: diabetes, comorbid heart disease and memory loss, can potentially help dementia sufferers. Indeed: “Dr Xu found that a high consumption of fruit and vegetables was linked to lowered odds of memory loss and its comorbid heart disease. [And that] High consumption of protein-rich foods was associated with a better memory.”
In addition to this, the doctor and her team, determined that: “the link between food group and memory status may vary among different older age groups. People aged 80 years and over with a low consumption of cereals are at the highest risk of memory loss and its comorbid heart disease.”
Speaking about this revolutionary discovery, Dr Xu remarked: “Our present study implies that the healthy eating suggestions of cereals consumption in the prevention of memory loss and comorbid heart disease for older people may differ compared to other age groups”.
The Challenge of Chronic Disease Prevention & Management
When discussing the need for age-specific healthy dietary guidelines, Dr Xu highlighted the reality that in a large percentage of cases, older populations suffer from multiple chronic conditions at the same time. She noted that in order: “To achieve the best outcome for our ageing population, strong scientific evidence that supports effective dietary intervention in preventing and managing co-occurring chronic conditions, is essential.” And to that end, protein-rich food, vegetables and fruit, all have a part to play in senior’s diets.