Posted on Feb 17, 2010, 6 a.m.
People who most closely follow a Mediterranean-style diet are 36% less likely to suffer brain infarcts, areas of brain damage linked to silent strokes.
The Mediterranean Diet is characterized by high daily intakes of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, a restricted consumption of red meat, low to moderate intakes of dairy products, fish, and poultry, and liberal use of use of olive oil. Nikolas Scarmeas, from Columbia University Medical Center (New York, USA), and colleagues studied 712 adults living in New York, analyzing their diets and categorizing on how closely they followed a Mediterranean diet. After six years, the team used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to scan the brains of the study participants and look for any areas of brain tissue damage related to silent stroke. The team found that those subjects who most closely followed a Mediterranean-style diet were 36% less likely to have fewer infarcts, which are areas of stroke-related brain damage (as compared to those who least closely followed the diet). Further, those who were moderate followers of Mediterranean style diet had a 21% lower risk of brain damage (compared with the lowest group).
“Mediterranean Diet May Lower Risk of Brain Damage That Causes Thinking Problems,” American Academy of Neurology,” February 8, 2010; findings to be presented at the2010 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology.