Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Plant-based diet may help depression, dementia
Food Consumer

A new study in the July 6, 2010, issue of Neurology suggests that having depression boosts risk of dementia like Alzheimer's disease.

This is only a suggestion because the study does not mean that depression causes dementia or vise versus.

The study involved 949 people at an average age of 79 years, who were free of dementia, but 125 of them were diagnosed with depression at the beginning of the study.

At the end of the 17-yer follow-up, 164 participants developed dementia; of those participants, 136 were diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

Jane Saczynski, PhD, author of the study from the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, MA and colleagues found 22 percent of those who had depression at baseline ended up developing dementia at the end of the study compared to 17 percent of those who were not depressed.

Dr. Saczyynski said even though depression may not necessarily cause dementia, it is possible that something like inflammation of brain tissue that contributes to depression boosts the risk of dementia like Alzheimer's.

Indeed, that is a possibility. Diet is one of the things that may affect risk of both depression and dementia.

A study led by Nanri A and colleagues from the National Center for Global Health and Medicine in Tokyo, Japan shows that a plant-based diet protects against depression.

Nanri found a healthy Japanese diet, consisting of high amounts of vegetables, fruit, mushrooms and soy products was associated with fewer depressive symptoms...

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