ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Insight on Herbals Eludes Doctors, Patients Alike
Indian Spice May Thwart Liver Damage
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Barefoot Lifestyle Has Its Dangers
Active Young Women Need Calcium, Vitamin D
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
CANCER
Yoga May Bring Calm to Breast Cancer Treatment
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
CAREGIVING
MRSA Infections Spreading to Kids in Community
Older Caregivers Prone to Worse Sleep Patterns
Children's Bath Products Contain Contaminants
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Night Shift Work Hard on the Heart
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
Obesity Linked to Heart Failure Risk
COSMETIC
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
DIABETES
24 Million Americans Had Diabetes in 2007
Laughter May Lower Heart Attack Risk in Diabetics
Strict Blood Sugar Lowering Won't Ease Diabetes Heart Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
Eating Healthy : You Can Live Longer
For Fitness, Cutting Calories May Not Be Enough
5 Reasons why you could gain weight while dieting
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Are Medical Meetings Environmentally Unfriendly?
Meat-Eating Dinosaurs Used Legs and Arms Like Birds
Ozone Pollution Taking Toll on American Lives
EYE CARE, VISION
Protein Might One Day Prevent Blindness
Just Like Skin, Eyes Can 'Burn' in Strong Sun
It's a Whole New Outlook for Cataract Patients
FITNESS
Almost Two-Thirds of Americans Meet Exercise Guidelines
When It Comes to Lifting, the Pros Have Your Back
FDA Mandates New Warnings for Botox
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
GENERAL HEALTH
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Standard IQ Test May Underestimate People With Autism
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
After a Stroke, Light Exercise Gets Hands, Arms Working Again
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Dark Chocolate May Lower Stroke Risk
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Stomach Germ May Protect Against Asthma
Babies Who Eat Fish Lower Eczema Risk
MEN'S HEALTH
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
MENTAL HEALTH
Green Spaces Boost the Body and the Mind
Meditation May Boost College Students' Learning
Environmental Chemicals May Affect Male Reproduction
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
SENIORS
Want Better Health in the New Year, Add Exercise to Your Day
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Money May Matter, Health-Wise, in Old Age
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Natural Relief for Painful Menstrual Cramps
For Women, Moderate Midlife Drinking Linked to Healthier Old Age
Caffeine in Pregnancy Associated With Low Birth Weight Risk
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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