Today, it’s estimated that there are more than five million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease, making it the most common form of age-related dementia in the country. Yet still no one knows what the disease truly is and/or how it’s caused. In recent years, however, more and more researchers have been focusing their studies on the affects of diet in relation to disease, and the results have been nothing short of fascinating. Weill Cornell Medicine’s Dr. Lisa Mosconi’s work in particular, reporting the connections between Mediterranean diets and Alzheimer’s disease, has been groundbreaking.
Using PET, MRI, and other brain imaging scanning techniques, Dr. Mosconi’s research team was able to detect significant differences between subjects who followed standard Western diets and those who consumed strictly Mediterranean diets. While this isn’t entirely surprising given the fact that most Western diets are high in refined sugar, saturated fats, and a lot of red meat, and Mediterranean diets consist more of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, the sheer extent of the difference and its discovered association with Alzheimer’s disease is remarkable to say the least. The findings were even duplicated in a secondary study “supported by NIH’s National Institute on Aging (NIA),” with the results released in Neurology online. Essentially, each study’s brain scans confirmed the presence of excess beta-amyloid deposits – a protein often found in those who have Alzheimer’s disease – in those who were following the Western diet. Those consuming wholly Western diets were also seen to have “lower energy use,” which can signify the early stages of dementia. Influences, such as sex, age, and genes, had no affect.
What Does This Mean?
Because changes have only been seen “in parts of the brain specifically affected by Alzheimer’s, and in relatively young adults,” it is essential for health leaders, like you, to recognize, and make every effort to change, these outcomes. By simply serving more nutritionally calculated meals that align closer to the Mediterranean diet, and providing necessary nutrition education to promote continued good habits long after release, you can potentially extend the life of your patients by up to three and a half years, as well as reduce their readmission rates by up to 25%!
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If you need additional support, Vision Software and our array of impressively innovative food service software applications will always be here for you! Call 629.777.8989, or fill in the free consultation form in the sidebar, to learn more about how Vision Software can positively impact the lives of the patients and visitors you service every day.