The People's Perspective on Medicine

Mediterranean Diet Wards Off Dementia

Dementia is rapidly becoming one of the world’s most serious and common health problems. Current treatments don’t change the course of the disease and recent research failures offer little hope for a quick pharmacological cure.

New evidence from Spain, however, suggests that diet may influence cognitive function. Researchers recruited over 500 men and women who were at high risk for heart disease because of high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, diabetes or pre-diabetes, a family history of cardiovascular complications or smoking. They were randomly assigned to follow a Mediterranean diet high in vegetables and fruits with either extra olive oil or extra nuts. The control group followed their usual diet and were encouraged to reduce their fat intake.

After nearly several years participants were tested with the Mini Mental State Exam and the clock drawing test. These are standardized tests of cognitive function. The seniors who were following a Mediterranean dietary regimen with extra virgin olive oil performed significantly better on the mental assessment scale than people on the control diet.

The authors conclude, “An intervention with MedDiets enhanced with either EVOO [extra virgin olive oil] or nuts appears to improve cognition compared with a low-fat diet…Our findings support increasing evidence on the protective effects of the MedDiet on cognitive function.”

[The Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, Online, May 13, 2013]

You can learn more about the nuts and olives (and other specific foods) in the Mediterranean diet in our book, The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies. Not only do we have specific foods that you should include in your daily diet, we also have some of our favorite recipes. 

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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Is the Mediterranean Diet good for people with high blood pressure? I would welcome any ideas for a diet to lower blood pressure. Thanks

I enjoy your site so much; I have gained much helpful information that I have shared with others. I have your great remedy book which is a book each home should have for general education and emergency situations.
Keep up the good work!
La. Bayou Country Cajun

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