Brain Health, Diet and Brain Health

Genetic Risk for Dementia Offset by Healthy Lifestyle

We’ve all heard grandma chiding us to eat our fresh veggies and fruits; “an apple a day keeps the doctor away!” Now scientific research offers an interesting twist on that perspective: “an apple a day keeps dementia away!”

Indeed, healthy lifestyle choices not only increase our lifespan but also help increase our aging brain power. Between 2006 and 2010, over 196,000 participants aged 60 or more joined the UK Biobank study and were followed for approximately 8 years. According to the Journal of American Medical Association research article published in July, this retrospective study investigated the correlation between genetic risk of dementia, healthy lifestyle, and actual cognitive outcomes. Lifestyle quality was rated as either unfavorable, intermediate, or favorable according to surveys regarding smoking, diet, exercise, and alcohol consumption.

Not surprisingly, genetic risk and an unfavorable/unhealthy lifestyle was associated with higher incidence of dementia. However, for those with genetic risk of dementia and a favorable/healthy lifestyle, statistical data revealed lower outcomes of cognitive decline.


Check out the original research:

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