The Mediterranean style of eating seems to be rising above most other dietary plans for its health benefits. Studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet may reduce the risk of cardiovascular events, and may also decrease the risk of breast cancer. A new study shows that the Med diet may also slow age related brain atrophy (natural ‘shrinkage’ of the brain with aging).
(Pictured above is the brain of a person in their 20s, compared to a person in their 80s, showing the natural atrophy that happens in the brain over time.)
The study, published in the journal Neurology, examined brain volumes and brain cortical thickness in Scottish people age 73, and followed them for three years until age 76. They assessed eating patterns using questionnaires at age 70 (three years before the start of the study). They found that people who reported less adherence to a Mediterranean style of eating had a greater reduction in total brain volume from age 73 to age 76, than those who reported eating in the Mediterranean style.
While this study is of lower quality than the randomized controlled clinical trial showing the cardiovascular and breast cancer benefit, it is another arrow pointing towards the benefits of the Mediterranean style of eating. While no diet has been shown to be superior to another for weight loss, the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet continue to impress.