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Mediterranean and MIND diets could enhance cognitive health: a new study

A recent study proposes that adhering to Mediterranean or MIND diets may enhance memory and cognition in midlife. Analyzing 509 twins, researchers discovered that those following these diets better preserved episodic and visuospatial memory over a decade. They suggest that specific gut bacteria and short-chain fatty acids could be behind this cognitive preservation. The study, focusing on middle-aged females, included both identical and fraternal twins, revealing stronger memory retention in twins with higher adherence to either diet, particularly the Mediterranean diet.

The research, published in Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy, underscores the importance of dietary habits in midlife for cognitive health. Dr. Thomas Holland from Rush University emphasizes that such habits can bolster cognitive resilience, potentially benefiting individuals as they age. While the study found less dramatic cognitive health benefits compared to older age groups, it highlights the significance of diet in maintaining cognitive abilities.

Additionally, the study sheds light on episodic and visuospatial memory, crucial markers for cognitive health and indicators of lower cognitive decline risk. Both the Mediterranean and MIND diets, known for their anti-inflammatory properties, may influence cognitive health through gut bacteria and short-chain fatty acids. However, experts caution that maintaining brain health involves a holistic approach, including physical activity, social engagement, mental stimulation, adequate sleep, and stress management.