New York, Nov 13 (UNI) A new study reveals that taking a diet rich in fish, Omega-3 oils, fruits and vegetables may lower the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease, whereas consuming omega-6 rich oils could increase chances of developing memory problems.
The researchers examined the diets of 8,085 men and women over the age of 65 who did not have dementia at the beginning of the study.
Over four years of follow-up, 183 of the participants developed Alzheimer's disease and 98 developed another type of dementia.
The study published in the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology found that people who regularly consumed omega-3 rich oils, such as canola oil, flaxseed oil and walnut oil, reduced their risk of dementia by 60 per cent compared to people who did not regularly consume such oils.
People who ate fruits and vegetables daily also reduced their risk of dementia by 30 per cent compared to those who didn't regularly eat fruits and vegetables, 'Science Daily' reported today.
The study also found people who ate fish at least once a week had a 35-per cent lower risk of Alzheimer's disease and 40-per cent lower risk of dementia, but only if they did not carry the gene that increases the risk of Alzheimer's, called apolipoprotein E4, or ApoE4.
''Given that most people do not carry the ApoE4 gene, these results could have considerable implications in terms of public health,'' the author of the study Pascale Barberger-Gateau from the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research said.
In addition, the study found people who did not carry the ApoE4 gene and consumed an unbalanced diet characterized by regular use of omega-6 rich oils, but not omega-3 rich oils or fish were twice as likely to develop dementia compared to those who didn't eat omega-6 rich oils, which include sunflower or grape seed oil.
The study did not find any link between consuming corn oil, peanut oil, lard, meat or wine and lowering risk of dementia.
''While we've identified dietary patterns associated with lowering a person's risk of dementia or Alzheimer's, more research is needed to better understand the mechanisms of these nutrients involved in these apparently protective foods,'' the author added.