ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Tai Chi: An Ideal Exercise for Many People with Diabetes
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Beware of Dog Bites
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
Rheumatoid Arthritis a Threat to the Heart
Active Young Women Need Calcium, Vitamin D
Studies Struggle to Gauge Glucosamine's Worth
CANCER
Meditation May Reduce Stress in Breast Cancer Patients
Scams and Shams That Prey on Cancer Patients
Seaweed May Help Treat Lymphoma
CAREGIVING
Stressed Health Care Workers Battle 'Compassion Fatigue'
Omega-3 Fatty Acid May Help 'Preemie' Girls' Brains
Study Casts Doubt on Influential Hospital Safety Survey
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Secondhand Smoke Quickly Affects Blood Vessels
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
COSMETIC
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
DIABETES
'Standard' Glucose Test May Be Wrong One for Obese Children
Fructose-Sweetened Drinks Up Metabolic Syndrome Risk
Chamomile Tea May Ward Off Diabetes Damage
DIET, NUTRITION
Compound in Red Wine Fights Ravages of Age
Leafy Greens Top Risky Food List
Oregano Shown to be the Most Powerful Culinary Herb
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Hairspray Exposure Ups Risk for Birth Defect in Sons
Database Helps Assess Your Breast Cancer Risk
Ozone Pollution Taking Toll on American Lives
EYE CARE, VISION
Americans Losing Sight of Eye Health
Cases of Age-Related Farsightedness to Soar
'Blind' Man Navigates Obstacle Course Without Error
FITNESS
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
Exercise Guards White Blood Cells Against Aging
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
GENERAL HEALTH
Quit Smoking the Holistic Way
Most Women Struggle With Rising Health Care Costs
Internet Program Helps Problem Drinkers
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Arteries Age Twice as Fast in Smokers
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
3 Home Habits Help Youngsters Stay Slim
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
Exercise During Pregnancy Keeps Newborn Size Normal
MEN'S HEALTH
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Fear Response May Stem From Protein in Brain
Chocolate a Sweet Pick-Me-Up for the Depressed
Meditation May Boost College Students' Learning
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
SENIORS
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
15-Point Test Gauges Alzheimer's Risk
Martial Arts Training May Save Seniors' Hips
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
WOMEN'S HEALTH
For Women, Moderate Midlife Drinking Linked to Healthier Old Age
Smoking Ups Risk of Second Breast Cancer
Supplements Might Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
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