by Marion Nestle
Jun 11 2024

Interesting study of the week I: diet and Alzheimer’s

This seems to be a slow news week so I’m going to get caught up on research papers I think worth reading.

I first heard about this study from this video, from Dr. Greger’s newsletter announcement (I subscribe).

Here’s the study: Ornish D, et al.  Effects of intensive lifestyle changes on the progression of mild cognitive impairment or early dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease: a randomized, controlled clinical trial.  Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy volume 16, Article number: 122 (2024).

It put 50 or so people in their 70s or older on “an intensive multidomain lifestyle intervention compared to a wait-list usual care control group” for 20 weeks.

People on the lifestyle intervention—diet, exercise, stress management, group support—did better.

The first author, Dean Ornish, runs a lifestyle modification program.

Comment: Wouldn’t this be terrific!  At the very least it is further evidence for the health benefits of a largely (not necessarily exclusively) plant-based diet.  Eating plant foods is strongly associated with prevention of any number of undesirable conditions.  The Alzheimer’s Association already recommends the DASH or Mediterranean diet patterns; both are plant based.

Eat your veggies.  Do so cannot hurt and might help—a lot.