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New study shows cognitive benefits of Mediterranean diet

4th September 2013

New research has added weight to the established understanding that eating a Mediterranean diet can offer benefits in terms of cognitive function.

A team from the University of Exeter Medical School – supported by the National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care in the South West Peninsula – have carried out the first ever systematic review of research related to this topic.

In nine out of the 12 studies considered, a greater adherence to a Mediterranean diet was associated with improved cognitive function, lower rates of cognitive decline and a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease.

However, results pertaining to mild cognitive impairment were inconsistent, suggesting that further research in this area is needed.

Study leader Iliana Lourida added: "While observational studies provide suggestive evidence, we now need randomised controlled trials to confirm whether or not adherence to a Mediterranean diet protects against dementia."

A Mediterranean diet typically consists of higher levels of olive oil, vegetables, fruit and fish, with corresponding decreases in the amount of meat and dairy products consumed.ADNFCR-8000103-ID-801633650-ADNFCR

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