ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Green Tea May Help Brain Cope With Sleep Disorders
Should Your Child Be Seeing a Chiropractor?
Needling Away Your Headaches With Acupuncture
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Beware of Dog Bites
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Gene Therapy May Ease Rheumatoid Arthritis
Chronic Low Back Pain Is on the Rise
A Winning Strategy to Beat Spring Sporting Injuries
CANCER
Some Spices Cut Cancer Risk That Comes With Grilled Burgers
Smokeout '08: The Perfect Time to Quit
Healthy Behaviors Slow Functional Decline After Cancer
CAREGIVING
Injected Medication Errors a Major Problem
Hospital Volume Imperfect Gauge of Cancer Surgery Outcomes
Mild Flu Season Coming to a Close
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
COSMETIC
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
DENTAL, ORAL
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
DIABETES
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
Chamomile Tea May Ward Off Diabetes Damage
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
DIET, NUTRITION
Olive Oil May Be Key to Mediterranean Diet's Benefits
Purple Tomato Extended Lives of Cancer-Prone Mice
Proven Strategies for Avoiding Colds and the Flu
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Flame-Retardant Chemical Linked to Conception Problems
Golf Course Insecticides Pose Little Danger to Players
Rainy Areas in U.S. Show Higher Autism Rates
EYE CARE, VISION
Diabetic Hispanics Missing Out on Eye Exams
Too Much Sun, Too Few Antioxidants Spell Eye Trouble
Stem Cells Repair Damaged Corneas in Mice
FITNESS
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
GENERAL HEALTH
Research Shows Genetic Activity of Antioxidants
More Calcium And Dairy Products in Childhood Could Mean Longer Life
Internet Program Helps Problem Drinkers
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
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
Psychiatric Drugs Might Raise Cardiac Death Risk
Low Vitamin D Levels Linked to Heart Disease
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Frequent Feedings May Be Making Babies Fat
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
MEN'S HEALTH
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Worries About Weight Are Tied to Teen Suicide Tries
The Unmedicated Mind
Green Spaces Boost the Body and the Mind
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
SENIORS
Laughter Can Stimulate a Dull Appetite
15-Point Test Gauges Alzheimer's Risk
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
How Much Fish to Eat While Pregnant?
Acupuncture May Help Relieve Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Add your Article

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