Hyderabad, Eating healthy, low calorie food could help fight the fungi in the gut and thus reduce the risk of dementia among senior citizens, doctors said, citing a new study done in the US that revealed that the diet has a direct connection with Alzheimer's disease.
The findings of the recent study by scientists at the Wake Forest School of Medicine are significant as health experts are looking at possible therapies to address the grave problem.
The Alzheimer's Association, a global body for dementia, reported that mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is witnessed among at least 15-20 per cent people aged over 65 years, which impacts the ability to think and can lead to Alzheimer's disease.
The new research suggests that ketogenic diet alters the bacterial communities in the human gut and helps reduce biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease among those suffering from MCI.
"In our conservative society, dementia often impacts social and family relations, including reduction in work hours, loss of employment, relationships ending, and even the need to relocate or change living arrangements arises. It is often noticed that such problems lead victims to becoming unwanted in the family and social setting. Possible solutions to prevent this problem are being researched for decades, and this new study provides a glimpse of hope," said Dr Simanchal Mishra, Senior Consultant Neuro Physician, Medicover Hospitals.
There is now a possible preventive mechanism through which the risk of Alzheimer's can be reduced to a great extent, and the suggested solution appears to be an easily manageable one, he added.
"Alzheimer's is an irreversible dementia. There are many other causes of dementia which are preventable or reversible. Early diagnosis and treatment of dementia can help make the disease reversible. Literacy/ knowledge of the ailment is one of the most important factors in preventing Alzheimer's disease," said Dr M.K. Singh, Senior Consultant Neurologist, Continental Hospitals.
"While quitting smoking and alcohol, eating healthy diet, exercising for at least 150 minutes a week are suggested as steps to prevent Alzheimer's disease, the new research reveals that lower calories food forces a human body to conserve energy, and this leads to drop in body temperature, and this too helps in preventing dementia. Additionally, reading, writing, learning new languages and/or musical instruments, maintaining an active social life are highly recommended to ensure Alzheimer's is kept at bay," he said.
Conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, which are known to increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, also increase the risk of developing Alzheimer's among ageing population. Hence, in addition to leading an active life, cutting down on calories in food is surely a great way to stay happy and remember everything till the end of life.