Posted on Nov 01, 2023, 12 p.m.
Article courtesy of Dr. Joel Kahn, MD, who is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at Wayne State University School of Medicine, one of the world's top cardiologists, a best-selling author, lecturer, and a leading expert in plant-based nutrition and holistic care.
The potential implications of delaying or preventing memory issues and cognitive decline for the roughly 6.5 million Americans over 65 diagnosed with Alzheimer’s as of 2022, a figure expected to more than double by 2060, are huge. Diet plays a role. A popular diet is the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, often ranked as the #1 diet recommendation overall. The DASH diet can be all or mostly whole-food plant-based.
Does the DASH diet impact late-life memory issues called subjective cognitive complaints (SCCs)? A new study examines this question and gives hope!
The study included 5116 women (mean age in 1985–1991: 46 years) from the New York University Women's Health Study. SCCs were assessed from 2018 to 2020 (mean age: 79 years) by a 6-item questionnaire.
The women were subsequently followed for more than 30 years and were asked to report any cognitive issues. Self-reported cognitive complaints were evaluated using six validated questions indicative of mild cognitive impairment, a precursor to dementia.
Compared to women in the bottom quartile of the DASH scores (least adherent or the "worst" followers of the DASH diet), the risk of developing SCCs was 17% lower for women in the top quartile (most adherent or the "best" at following the diet) of DASH scores at baseline.
Greater adherence to the DASH diet in mid-life was associated with a lower prevalence of late-life SCCs in women.
The DASH diet, which emphasizes the consumption of whole plant foods, focuses on a high intake of foods rich in potassium, calcium, and magnesium while minimizing saturated fats, cholesterol, sodium, and sugar.
One of the authors stated “Following the DASH diet may not only prevent high blood pressure but also cognitive issues. Our data suggest that it is important to start a healthy diet in midlife to prevent cognitive impairment in older age".
About the author: At his core, Dr. Joel Kahn believes that plant-based nutrition is the most powerful source of preventative medicine on the planet. Having practiced traditional cardiology since 1983, it was only after his own commitment to a plant-based vegan diet that Dr. Kahn truly began to delve into the realm of non-traditional diagnostic tools, prevention tactics, and nutrition-based recovery protocols.
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement.
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