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August 12, 2009

Mediterranean Diet and Late-Life Cognitive Impairment: A Taste of Benefit

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

JAMA. 2009;302(6):686-687. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1149

The Mediterranean-type diet, a diet high in plant foods (such as fruits, nuts, legumes, and cereals) and fish, with olive oil as the primary source of monounsaturated fat and low to moderate intake of wine, as well as low intake of red meat and poultry, has been associated with a number of healthful outcomes including reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and mortality.1 In 2006, Scarmeas et al2 reported that adherence to the Mediterranean-type diet was associated with a reduced incidence of Alzheimer disease (AD). This study was greeted with a feeding frenzy of media and public attention.3 However, a single study reporting an association must be replicated to assess its generalizability.