A study found the Western diet may increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, while other research showed almost 50% of people with subjective cognitive decline did not follow dietary guidelines. The findings indicated a more significant association with Alzheimer’s disease pathology in those participants who consumed the Western diet (eg, high fat and fried foods, red and processed meats) including greater neuritic plaque severity scores, higher amyloid level and higher NIA Reagan scores vs. those who followed a non-Western diet.
Researchers assessed cognitive complaints among 166 people with subjective cognitive decline based on their adherence to dietary guidelines and scores on nutritional components such as alcohol, fruit, fibers, fish, saturated fat, salt, trans fatty acids and vegetables. They found no link between patients with cognitive complaints and adherence to dietary guidelines, but nearly 50% of the participants with subjective cognitive decline failed to follow dietary guidelines.
Lightbulb Moment: When so many are focused on obesity, cognitive function can be overlooked. To be fair though, obesity paints a clearer picture whereas cognitive function is harder to grasp because of its many faces. It can show itself as sleep issues, dementia, stress, depression, focus issues, or aggression just to name a few. Diet can directly affect each of these and so should not be overlooked by the industry.