ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Maggots as Good as Gel in Leg Ulcer Treatments
Fish Oil's Benefits Remain Elusive
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
Fruits and Veggies May Strengthen Bones
Genes May Help Drive Rotator Cuff Injury
Vitamin K Doesn't Slow Bone Loss
CANCER
Vitamin D May Improve Melanoma Survival
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Seaweed May Help Treat Lymphoma
CAREGIVING
Organ Donation Policies Vary Among Children's Hospitals
Reduce Suffering, Urge Heart Failure Patients and Caregivers
Preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
Salt Boosts Blood Pressure in High-Risk Patients
COSMETIC
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
DENTAL, ORAL
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
Amino Acid May Be Key to Strong Teeth
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
DIABETES
Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes Updated
Strict Blood Sugar Lowering Won't Ease Diabetes Heart Risk
24 Million Americans Had Diabetes in 2007
DIET, NUTRITION
Brown Rice Tied to Better Heart Health in Study
Marinades Help Keep Grilled Meat Safe
Adults Need To Get Thier Food Facts Straight
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
1976 Italian Dioxin Release Damaged Babies' Thyroids
Traffic Seems to Make Kids' Asthma Worse
Researchers ID Genetic Markers for Esophageal Cancer
EYE CARE, VISION
When Gauging Age, the Eyes Have It
Eye Problems, Hearing Loss May Be Linked
When Corks Fly, Watch the Eyes
FITNESS
Higher Fitness Levels Tied to Lower Heart, Death Risks
You Can Get Great Exercise In The Garden
Fall Cleanup Is a Prime Time for Accidents
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
Food and Water Supply Poisoned by Perchlorate
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Hidden Salt in Diet Haunts Many With Heart Failure
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Dark Chocolate May Lower Stroke Risk
Drinking Your Way to Health? Perhaps Not
More Steps a Day Lead to Better Health
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Folic Acid Reduces Infant Heart Defects
Standard IQ Test May Underestimate People With Autism
Eating Fish, Breast-Feeding Boost Infant Development
MEN'S HEALTH
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
The Unmedicated Mind
Drink Away Dementia?
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
SENIORS
Exercise Benefits Even the Oldest Old
Rapid Weight Loss in Seniors Signals Higher Dementia Risk
Video Gaming Just Might Fight Aging
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Vitamin D Good for Breast Cancer Patients
Frankincense Provides Relief for Osteoarthritis
Women Smokers Lose 14.5 Years Off Life Span
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Healthy Diet Could Cut Alzheimer's Disease Risk

Eating a diet high in vegetables, fish, fruit, nuts and poultry, and low in red meat and butter may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease, new research finds.

Researchers asked more than 2,100 New York City residents aged 65 and older about their dietary habits. Over the course of about four years, 253 developed Alzheimer's disease.

Those whose diets included the most salad dressing, nuts, fish, tomatoes, poultry, cruciferous vegetables (such as cauliflower and broccoli), dark and green leafy vegetables, and the least red meat, high-fat dairy, organ meat and butter had a 38 percent lower risk of developing Alzheimer's than those whose diets included fewer fruits, vegetables and poultry and more red meat and high-fat dairy.

"Following this dietary pattern seems to protect from Alzheimer's disease," said senior study author Dr. Nikolaos Scarmeas, associate professor of neurology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. But he added that "this is an observational study, not a clinical trial," meaning that researchers cannot say with certainty that eating a certain way helps prevent the disease.

The study was published online April 12 in the Archives of Neurology, and will appear in the journal's June print issue.

While similar to the well-known Mediterranean diet, the diet that seemed to be beneficial in this study is not identical because researchers didn't want to restrict themselves to considering only one culinary tradition. The Mediterranean diet included nine food groups; this study included 30, Scarmeas said.

The foods in those 30 groups are those that impact a list of seven fatty acids and nutrients, which previous research has associated with Alzheimer's disease risk. The nutrient combination included: saturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids, omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin E, vitamin B12 and folate.

"We found there was a combination of foods that affected the levels of these fats and vitamins, and by doing so, also affected the risk for getting Alzheimer's disease," Scarmeas said.

The researchers controlled for demographic factors such as age, education and ethnicity; genetic factors; smoking, body mass index and other medical conditions.

Dr. Samuel Gandy, a neurologist and cell biologist at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, said the findings are consistent with other epidemiological studies that have found that people who stick to a diet that is good for the heart also have a lower risk of Alzheimer's disease.

"Everything that increases the risk for heart disease -- high cholesterol, obesity, high blood pressure, uncontrolled diabetes -- all of these things also increase the risk for Alzheimer's," Gandy said.

The reasons for the connection are not fully understood. One possibility is that factors that impact the health of the blood vessels throughout the body may also impact the health of the blood vessels in the brain.

Doctors used to believe there were two separate causes of dementia: vascular dementia, due to blood vessel disease; and Alzheimer's disease, a neurodegenerative process. "We now know that most people with dementia have some of both," Gandy said.

Still, while eating a "heart healthy" diet is probably a good idea and certainly can't hurt, what's not clear is just how much, say, broccoli a person has to eat to see benefits, Gandy added.

As for other lifestyle habits that can lower risk of Alzheimer's, exercise is the only intervention that has been demonstrated to be beneficial in randomized clinical trials, Gandy said.

A second study in the April issue of the same journal found that people with Alzheimer's disease lose lean mass as the disease progresses. Lean mass includes weight from the bones, muscles and organs.

People with Alzheimer's often lose weight unintentionally. The weight loss often begins prior to noticeable memory loss, according to background information in the article.

Researchers from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Kansas City, assessed the body composition in 70 people aged 60 and older with early-stage Alzheimer's disease and 70 without the disease. Participants also had their brains scanned using MRI and neuropsychological testing.

Those with Alzheimer's disease had less lean mass, as well as decreases in the volume of the brain and white matter.

"Our data are consistent with other studies suggesting that brain pathology may contribute to decline in body composition, perhaps by disrupting central nervous system regulation of energy metabolism and food intake," the study authors wrote.

SOURCES: Nikolaos Scarmeas, M.D., associate professor, neurology, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, N.Y.; Samuel Gandy, Ph.D., M.D., Mount Sinai Professor in Alzheimer's Disease Research, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, N.Y.; April 2010, Archives of Neurology Published on: April 12, 2010