A new study revealed that the risks of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia are reduced if people consume traditional diets of countries such as India, Japan, and Nigeria. On the contrary, the consumption of meat, sweet and high-fat dairy products may increase the risks.
About 42 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with dementia, being Alzheimer’s disease the most common type. The rates continue to rise in the world, and it appears to be related to diet and lifestyle. Experts say that adopting a diet with low meat consumption would be advisable to prevent dementia. However, the study stated that the spread of western diet patterns – based on an extensive ingest of meat, sweet and highly processed foods – have a lot to do with the increase of Alzheimer’s disease detection worldwide.
Alzheimer’s disease has everything to with diet
The symptoms include short-term memory loss and unpredictable behavior. However, as the disease advances the symptoms can include problems with language, loss of motivation, disorientation and behavioral issues. They often lose the connection with family and society. Gradually people with the disease end up not managing self-care, and the bodily functions are lost. The speed of progression of the disease varies depending on the age, treatment and conditions of the person; however, the average life expectancy after diagnosis goes from 3 to nine years.
“Every year, about 10 million new cases of dementia are reported. That is, there is a case of dementia for every 3.2 seconds,” says Balu Chakravarti, senior scientist at National Research Commission in Toronto.
Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s. The diagnosis is often made to people who are aged 50 and above but is more familiar to people above 65. 5% of the risk appears to be genetic. The causes also include a history of head injuries and depression. As well people having cardiac, BP, obesity and sugar-related problems are prone to develop the disease. Blood tests are made to discard other possible causes. The examination of brain tissues is needed to have a definitive diagnosis. It is believed that around 45 million people live with Alzheimer, and the number is expected to double within the next 20 years. As well, it is most common in individuals who live in urban areas rather than rural places.
Western diet increases the risks of Alzheimer’s disease
The disease was most seen in western countries, but it has spread to developing and Eastern countries, including China and India. Currently, over 5 million people in India have been diagnosed. It has to do with the changes in diet. For example, Japanese population has always had a healthy traditional diet, but the transition from their diet to the Western diet can be linked to the rise in the disease rates that went from 1%in 1985 to 7% in 2008.
A new ecological study evaluated the rates of the Alzheimer’s disease in 10 countries (Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Egypt, India, Mongolia, Nigeria, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka and the US) considering, as well, the dietary supply date 5, 10 and 15 years before the prevalence data. The results showed that the consumption of meat or animal products five years before Alzheimer’s disease prevalence had the highest correlations with it. The most important risk factors seem to be linked to lifestyle especially the consumption of meat, sweets, and high-fat dairy products that characterize a Western Diet. US residents have around 4% chance to suffer Alzheimer’s disease since their dietary patters include a considerable amount of meat.
“Reducing meat consumption could significantly reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease as well as of several cancers, diabetes mellitus type 2, stroke and chronic kidney disease,” said William B Grant, author of the research published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.
Therefore, specialists recommend adopting to traditional diets, like those from Japan and India, including vegetables, fruits, grains, low-fat dairy products, legumes, and fish are associated with reduced risk.
As well, the traditional Mediterranean diet is related to about half the risk for the disease than the Western diet. Certainly, the best way to avoid the Alzheimer disease is through awareness and proper healthcare. No medicaments are available to prevent the disease or cure it. Although, some drugs are available to treat the patients, many of them cause side-effects. People with the disease die because of them. Scientists are trying to come up with drugs for dementia treatment that doesn’t produce side effects.
Source: DNA India