In a new study, French researchers found there is no link between midlife diet quality and one’s dementia risk.
Previous studies showed mixed results about the links between diet and dementia risk.
Some studies found a healthier diet was linked to reduced dementia risk, but other studies did not show the connection.
In the current study, the team aimed to see if there is a link between a healthier diet and lower dementia risk.
They examined over 8,000 people in the English civil service, most of whom were men.
They asked these participants to their dietary habits from 1985 to 2017. They also checked the people’s electronic health records to see if they developed dementia.
The researchers found diet quality in midlife was not strongly linked to dementia risk.
This means people with a healthier midlife diet are still likely to develop dementia 20 years later.
However, other researchers suggest that focusing on the effect of one lifestyle factor in isolation may not tell the whole story.
The current finding cannot tell whether a healthy diet might affect dementia risk in combination with other lifestyle factors.
In addition, it is still unknown if diet quality influences dementia risk in people with a high risk of the disease.
It is also possible that people underestimate their unhealthy behaviors when reporting their diet habits.
They suggest that a healthy diet can influence other risk factors linked to dementia and it is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.
For common people, it is important to control blood pressure and cholesterol, maintain a healthy weight, stop smoking, drink within the recommended limits, and stay mentally and physically active to protect brain health.
Future work will assess the link between cognitive performance and dementia.
The study is published in JAMA.
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