MRI shows benefits of Mediterranean diet on the brain

A study that appears in February 2012’s issue of Archives of Neurology suggests that eating a Mediterranean-style diet may offer protection against small-vessel disease.  Damage to small blood vessels can cause damage in the brain and other organs. 

The study included performing brain MRIs on the participants.  The researchers noted a correlation between the participants’ diets and the amount of white-matter hyperintesity (“WMH”) volumes in their brain.  WMH are markers for small-vessel damage and are associated with vascular risk factors such as smoking, diabetes and high blood pressure.  The more closely a person followed a Mediterranean-style diet, the less WMH they had.

The study findings might also help explain recent studies that have linked consumption of a Mediterranean diet with lower incidence of neurological conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. 

What is the Mediterranean diet?  Think: olive oil, fruits and vegetables, fish, whole grains, legumes and nuts.  Try to limit the amount of red meat, saturated fats and refined grains you eat.  If its in a can, a box or a jar – don’t buy it!

While you can’t get an MRI of your brain to see how your diet is working, it might be appropriate to get one if you are experiencing some cognitive difficulties.  Talk to your doctor, and together you can come up with a game plan.  If your doctor thinks an MRI might be appropriate, give us a call at 1-877-709-8522. 

 

  Filed under: Categories: Brain Scans, Brain Scans, CT Scans, and MRI Scans. Tags: brain, brain health, dementia, diet, and MRI.
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