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Mediterranean Diet vs (Loss of) Memory Part 2

Posted May 23 2013 3:00am
Pop quiz: what's better than a population-based cohort study?  A randomized controlled trial!  So think back to just  3 weeks ago when a population-based cohort study was published in Neurology concluding that the Mediterranean diet was linked to lower risk of cognitive impairment.  But if you'll recall, such studies fall under the rubric of observational trials .  As such, the conclusions are only useful in developing hypotheses, as they can't & don't prove cause & effect.  For this, you need randomized controlled trials , ideally double-blind.  Be that as it may, reach deep into your memory banks from 3 months ago when a randomized control trial (PREDIMED) was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in which the authors demonstrated that the Mediterranean diet plus either extra virgin olive oil or nuts was able to prevent 1st heart attack in high risk patients.

Well, in another analysis of that very same PREDIMED trial published early online this month in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry , 522 men & women avg 75yo at high risk for vascular disease were randomized to low fat control diet vs Mediterranean diet plus either extra virgin olive oil or mixed nuts and then followed for 6+yrs.  Cognitive function was assessed by Folstein's Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and the Clock Drawing Test .  The authors concluded that the Mediterranean diet plus either extra virgin olive oil or mixed nuts lead to improved cognitive function compared to typical low fat diet.  

Bottom line, I haven't found anything bad associated with the Mediterranean diet , aside from the fact that I can't trademark it and make a profit.  Therefore, there's no true commercial or capitalistic motive in promoting it, unlike all the other fad or better known diets out there.  So I have nothing to gain by telling you to eat this way but you have everything to gain!

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