ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
Know Your Asthma Triggers
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture May Trigger Natural Painkiller
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Safe Toys for Dogs
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Study Shows Exercise Shields Against Osteoporosis
Health Tip: Back Pain in Children
CANCER
Immune Therapy May Aid Kids With Neuroblastoma
Women Smokers Lose 14.5 Years Off Life Span
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
CAREGIVING
Study of Everest Climbers Questions Oxygen Use
Weekend Admission May Be Riskier for GI Bleeding
New Guidelines for Treating Heart Failure
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
Bad Marriages Harder on Women's Health
COSMETIC
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Biological Product Shows Promise Against Gum Disease
Laser Technology Spots Cavities Before They Start
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
DIABETES
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
Fructose-Sweetened Drinks Up Metabolic Syndrome Risk
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
DIET, NUTRITION
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
5 Reasons why you could gain weight while dieting
Coffee Beans May Be Newest Stress-Buster
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Fertilizer Ban Makes a Difference
As Earth Warms, Lyme Disease Could Flourish
Household Insecticides May Be Linked to Autoimmune Diseases
EYE CARE, VISION
Retinal Gene Is Linked to Childhood Blindness
Omega-3 Foods May Lower Eye Disease Risk
Certain Diabetes Drugs May Pose Eye Risk
FITNESS
Avoiding a Holiday Season of Discontent
Any Exercise Good After a Heart Attack
Be Healthy, Spend Less
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
GENERAL HEALTH
Autumn Chores Often Hazardous
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Reminiscing Helps Build Emotional Strength
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Too-Low Blood Pressure Can Also Bring Danger
A Little Alcohol May Help the Heart: Studies
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Working Intensely Early on May Help Autistic Kids
Childhood Dairy Intake Boosts Bone Health Later On
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
MEN'S HEALTH
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Heal Your LifeŽ Tips for Living Well
Fear Response May Stem From Protein in Brain
Using the Mind to Heal the Heart
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
SENIORS
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
For a Healthier Retirement, Work a Little
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Caffeine in Pregnancy Associated With Low Birth Weight Risk
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
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Mediterranean Diet Plus Exercise Lowers Alzheimer's Risk

(HealthDay News) -- Eating a Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes fruits, vegetables, legumes and healthy fats, and increasing physical activity levels can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, a new study shows.

The latest research, published in the Aug. 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, is more evidence that healthy living can help ward off cognitive decline.

Following both healthy habits is a plus, said study author Dr. Nikolaos Scarmeas, an assistant professor of neurology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. "There is some evidence [already] that a healthy diet, the Mediterranean diet, may be protective for our risk of getting Alzheimer's disease," he said. "In the current study we wanted to see if there was an independent effect of physical activity and diet."

So Scarmeas and his team looked at 1,880 men and women without dementia living in New York, average age 77, and gave them tests every 1.5 years from 1992 through 2006, evaluating how well they followed a Mediterranean-type diet and their weekly participation in various physical activities. Those in the highest group got a median of 1.3 hours of vigorous activity or 2.4 hours of moderate-intensity exercise every week.

Scarmeas' team followed the elders for an average of 5.4 years, finding that 282 developed Alzheimer's disease during that time.

"There was an association between both a healthy diet and physical activity and reducing risk for Alzheimer's disease," Scarmeas said.

Those who ate well and exercised had a 60 percent reduction in the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease compared with those who didn't follow either good health habit, he said. "It's a very significant reduction," he added.

Exactly which components of the Mediterranean diet seem to confer benefit isn't known. "It could be there are individual elements of the diet that are important," Scarmeas said. "But it could be the interaction."

In another study published earlier this year, Scarmeas found that those who adhere to a Mediterranean diet had a lower risk of developing cognitive impairment, and a lower risk of developing Alzheimer's disease if they already had cognitive impairment.

In a second study in the same journal, researchers (including Scarmeas) looked at 1,410 French adults and found adherence to a Mediterranean diet was linked to slower decline on one cognitive test but not others. They didn't find high adherence to the heart-healthy diet linked with the risk for dementia.

In an editorial, the Mayo Clinic's Dr. David Knopman writes that a healthy diet may help prevent Alzheimer's but does not seem to occur in isolation.

"For such a benign intervention as diet and exercise, 60 percent [reduction in Alzheimer's] is substantial," said Dr. Greg Cole, associate director of the Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer's Disease Research at the University of California Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine.

Already, about 5.3 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease, according to the Alzheimer's Association, and up to 16 million may have it by 2050.

"So, the 60 percent reduction from diet and exercise can have a huge impact because we are talking about so many millions of people," Cole said.

The findings are in line with what the Alzheimer's Association already recommends in its "Maintain Your Brain" program, said William H. Thies, vice president for medical and scientific relations for the organization.

"One of the things that is important [to note] is, they are looking at normal people," he said, not those who already have the disease. "You aren't going to cure Alzheimer's disease by eating lots of olives."

SOURCES: William H. Thies, Ph.D., vice president, medical and scientific relations, Alzheimer's Association; Greg Cole, Ph.D., associate director, Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer's Disease Research, and professor, medicine and neurology, University of California, Los Angeles, David Geffen School of Medicine; Nikolaos Scarmeas, M.D., assistant professor, neurology, Columbia University Medical Center, New York City; Aug. 12, 2009, Journal of the American Medical Association Published on: August 11, 2009