ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Naprapathy: A Hands-On Approach to Pain Management
Taking the Mystery Out of Hypnotherapy
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Beware of Dog Bites
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Tips to Ease an Aching Back
Living Near Major Road May Boost Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk
Brazilian Mint Tea Naturally Good for Pain Relief
CANCER
Seaweed May Help Treat Lymphoma
Some Spices Cut Cancer Risk That Comes With Grilled Burgers
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
CAREGIVING
Stressed Health Care Workers Battle 'Compassion Fatigue'
Injected Medication Errors a Major Problem
Medication Errors Could Be Cut: Experts
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Drink a Little Wine, Live a Little Longer
Obesity Linked to Heart Failure Risk
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
COSMETIC
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
DENTAL, ORAL
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
DIABETES
Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes Updated
Study Shows Turmeric May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Saliva Test Could Monitor Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
School Meals Need to Get Healthier
Iced Teas Pose High Risk of Kidney Stones
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Artificial Light Linked to Prostate Cancer Risk
Ozone-Depleting Inhalers Being Phased Out
Fish in U.S. Rivers Tainted With Common Medications
EYE CARE, VISION
Magnetic Pulses to Brain Improve Lazy Eye in Adults
High Temps Degrade Contact Lens Solution: Study
Hybrid Cars Pose Risk to Blind, Visually Impaired
FITNESS
Living With Less TV, More Sweat Boosts Weight Loss
FDA Mandates New Warnings for Botox
Yoga Can Ease Lower Back Pain
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Mind Exercise Might Help Stroke Patients
Quit Smoking the Holistic Way
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Ginkgo Won't Prevent Heart Attack, Stroke in Elderly
How Weight Loss Can Help the Heart
Too Much Red Meat May Shorten Life Span
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Green Tea May Help Brain Cope With Sleep Disorders
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
Too Many Infants Short on Vitamin D
MEN'S HEALTH
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Countdown to Hair Loss
MENTAL HEALTH
Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
Drink Away Dementia?
Fear Response May Stem From Protein in Brain
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
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
SENIORS
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Active Young Women Need Calcium, Vitamin D
Most Women With Osteoporosis Unaware of Raised Fracture Risk
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Add your Article

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