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Beating Depression: Dietary Supplements Offer Little Value

Evidence on the effectiveness of specific supplements for the treatment of depression is mixed, according to Robin Kanarek, PhD, John Wade Professor, Emerita, at Tufts University. “There are no consistent results in the literature regarding the effectiveness of dietary supplements for treating depression,” Kanarek says. Depression—the number one cause of disability worldwide— is a common […]
Dementia and Occupational Therapy - Home caregiver and senior adult woman

Lower Alzheimer’s Risk May Be Possible with Healthy Lifestyle

A study published in June in the journal Neurology found healthy lifestyle choices were associated with lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. This analysis of two observational studies included a total of over 2,700 participants followed for around six years on average. The researchers gave participants a score from zero to five based on not […]
Scales and tape measure

Behavioral and Psychological Strategies Help Maintain Weight Loss

A study published recently in the journal Obesity identified specific behavioral and psychological strategies that may help people who have lost weight keep it off. The study surveyed over 4,700 participants in a weight loss program who had maintained a weight loss of at least 20 pounds for more than three years. A group of […]
Healthy eating or unhealthy eating.

Diets High in Saturated Fat and Sugars May Impact Brain Function

Diets high in saturated fat and added sugars—such as those common in Western countries like the U.S.—may impair memory and lower ability to control appetite. A small study conducted in Australia and published recently in Royal Society Open Science fed 102 healthy, lean adults breakfast for four days. The experimental group consumed more calories, total […]

Daily Aspirin Does Not Lower Alzheimer’s Risk

The results of a controlled trial, published recently in the journal Neurology, indicate that taking daily low-dose aspirin is not effective in lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. The study followed over 19,000 men and women over age 70 for nearly five years. Half were given a low dose of […]

Association Found Between Waist Circumference and Dementia

A large Korean population study recently published in the journal Obesity found that abdominal obesity, as measured by waist circumference, was associated with significantly higher risk of dementia. The study included over 872,000 participants aged 65 years and older.

Lutein for the Eyes (and the Brain)

Lutein is just one of the more than 600 phytochemicals in the carotenoid family. These compounds are pigments that give plants their orange, yellow, and red hues, but they are more than just good looking: carotenoids, including lutein, have antioxidant and other health-promoting properties. What makes lutein unique among the carotenoids is that it is selectively taken up into the eye and the brain, says Elizabeth Johnson, a former scientist with the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging.

Homocysteine: The Facts

Doctors routinely measure blood levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar, because high levels are strongly associated with higher risk of cardiovascular disease, and bringing these levels down through diet, exercise, and appropriate medication may lower risk. Some researchers suggest that another measure, homocysteine (ho-mo-SIS-teen) levels, should be added to that list. Multiple studies have found an association between high blood levels of homocysteine and higher cardiovascular disease risk (especially heart attack) as well as higher risk of certain causes of cognitive decline, says Irwin H. Rosenberg, MD, a professor at Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and senior scientist at the Neuroscience and Aging Laboratory.

Diet and Alzheimers

Alzheimers disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of the loss of memory and other cognitive abilities collectively known as dementia. There is no known food or diet that can prevent or cure Alzheimers dementia, but diet may help delay onset and slow progression.

Diet and Depression

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, affecting more than 300 million adults and children. While to date there is no specific diet proven to prevent or cure this condition, research indicates that decreasing depression risk may be yet another reason to aim for a healthy dietary pattern.