A doctoral research carried out in the University of Eastern Finland shows that Healthy diet in midlife decreases risks of memory disorder in old age, Finnish Daily Helsingin Sanomat reported on Monday.
The research done by Marjo Eskelinen, Master of Health Sciences from the University of Eastern Finland, reveals that a healthy diet containing abundant of vegetables, fruits, berries and fish taken in middle age, can effectively reduce risks of memory disorders in late life; Meanwhile, an unhealthy diet with a lot of saturated fatty acid will significantly increase risks of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
The researchers randomly selected 2,000 subjects, who were 50 years old in 1972, 1977, 1982 and 1987. The diet information was obtained through the forms of questionnaire and interview. The re-examination was conducted to check the health conditions of 1500 survivors aged 65 to 79 years old in 1998.
Compared with the group of persons whose diet was the least healthy, those persons who ate the healthiest had an 86-90 percent decreased risk of dementia, and a 90-92 percent decreased risk of Alzheimer's disease.
The study also manifests that a diet with abundant unsaturated fatty acid, Vitamin C, Vitamin B12 and folic acid helps enhance memory, while a diet containing much saturated fatty acid and cholesterol increases risks of developing memory disorders.
Additionally, the research shows that coffee can prevent memory disorder. The subjects who drank 3 to 5 cups of coffee per day at midlife had less risks of suffering from dementia in old age than those who drank less than 3 cups of coffee per day.
Eskelinen pointed out that changes in brain function caused by Alzheimer's disease could have started decades before the outbreak of the disease.
"The research proved the hypothesis that healthy dietary patterns are beneficial to brain's health", said Eskelinen, "and also helps to prevent people from memory disorders."
The doctoral dissertation titled "Midlife healthy diet can reduce risks of late-life memory disorders" will be defended in the University of Eastern Finland on March 7.