A 2015 study suggests the MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) diet is neuroprotective and slows age-related cognitive decline. In this observational study of 960 elderly adults (mean age, 81.4 years), researchers examined the impact of the MIND diet on cognitive change. After nearly five years, those who rigorously followed the MIND diet were 7.5 years younger cognitively than those with poor adherence. Slower decline was seen in five cognitive domains, with episodic memory, semantic memory and perceptual speed experiencing the greatest impact.
Findings from recent meta-analysis show fish consumption may protect against cognitive impairment. The meta-analysis of 21 studies (n = 181,580) examined the potential protective effects of fish consumption and total omega-3 intake on cognitive function. Results showed a weekly serving of fish, and more specifically, a 0.1 g/day intake of dietary DHA, were associated with lower risks of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. However, a linear dose-response relationship was not observed.
A study found both the Mediterranean and MIND diets may help protect cognition in older adults. Researchers used food frequency questionnaires to examine the dietary patterns of 5,907 seniors (mean age, 68 years). Data showed high adherence to the diet provided statistically significant results, with subjects experiencing a 35% decreased risk of cognitive decline. Moderate adherence resulted in a 15% reduced risk, though this protection was not statistically significant. The MIND diet had similar results.