Follow a Mediterranean-type diet (MEDI) is good for the brain: this is the result of a cohort study of multi-ethnic elderly without dementia.

The difference between groups was equivalent to about five years of aging.

The study, published in Neurology, by the Columbia University in New York, adds to the existing literature and shows that the Mediterranean diet is a healthy diet and that people can potentially prevent brain shrinkage and its aging simply by following a healthy diet.

The study involved 674 elderly subjects (mean age 80.1 years) who completed questionnaires “food-frequency” regarding their diet over the last 12 months and underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging at high resolution.

According to the report dietician, 304 participants had higher adherence to Medi (with at least five food components, with a greater consumption of healthy foods, or lower consumption of unhealthy foods) and 370 subjects had lower adherence to the principles Medi.

Medi includes high intake of vegetables, legumes, fruits, cereals, fish and monounsaturated fatty acids, such as olive oil; a low intake of saturated fatty acids, dairy products, meat and poultry; and a mild to moderate alcohol consumption.

Individuals with a greater adherence to the Medi had a total volume of the brain that was 13,11 ml greater than in those with low grip. They also had a greater volume of grey matter is that of the white.

In particular, a higher intake of fish and less meat intake is associated with increased grey matter volume total. The increased consumption of fish was also associated with a higher average cortical thickness.

The absolute effect of MEDI on measures brain was relatively small, but the magnitude of the effect of the consumption of at least 5 recommended food components in accordance with the Medi on TBV [total brain volume] it is comparable to that of 5-year increase of age. Similarly, the intake of fish at least 3-5 times per week, or maintaining the intake of meat to 100 g per day or less, it can also provide considerable protection against atrophy of the brain that is equivalent to approximately 3- 4 years of aging.

The observed relations between Medì and MRI measures of brain were not significantly modified by sex, ethnicity.

It is thought that the potential mechanisms include effects both anti-inflammatory and / or antioxidants, as well as a potential slowing of the accumulation of β-amyloid or tau phosphorylation and aggregation of proteins.

With this study we reach another pillar to the importance of the Mediterranean diet, and it would be a very reasonable thing to do if you are at risk or you want to work actively on prevention.