Medical insurance news - Diet 'can offset Alzheimer's'
Eating a diet rich in vitamins and fish can stop medical insurance customers' brains from shrinking, new research has suggested.
According to a study in the journal Neurology, eating junk food can have the opposite effect. Elderly people who have high levels of vitamins in their blood, as well as omega 3 fatty acids in their system, had less brain shrinkage and performed better in cognitive tasks than those who did not.
Alzheimer's Research UK, a British medical charity, has now called for more work to be done to investigate the link between diet and dementia risk.
The study's co-author Maret Traber, of the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, where the research was carried out, said that a diet full of fruit, vegetables and fish can help give people the vitamins and nutrients they need.
"I'm a firm believer these nutrients have strong potential to protect your brain and make it work better," she added.
According to the researchers, not smoking, taking regular exercise, keeping blood pressure and cholesterol down, while eating a balanced diet that contains a lot of fruit and vegetables is the best way to help keep bodies in check.
Although the results need to be confirmed, study author Gene Bowman described the findings as "exciting".
Commenting on the study, Dr Simon Ridley, head of research at Alzheimer's Research UK, told the BBC that "there is a clear need for conclusive evidence about the effect of diet on our risk of Alzheimer's, which can only come for large-scale, long-term studies".
He added that it was important to note that the research only looked at a limited number of patients who had few risk factors for Alzheimer's and did not investigate whether or not they developed the disease at a later age.
It was recently revealed that sufferers of Alzheimer's in Hastings had been defrauded of more than £150,000 by schemes such as cold-calling and scam mail.