HealthDay News — A pro-inflammatory diet is associated with an increased risk for incident dementia, according to a study published online Nov. 10 in Neurology.

Sokratis Charisis, M.D., from Aiginition Hospital in Athens, Greece, and colleagues examined the correlations between inflammatory potential of diet, assessed using the validated diet inflammatory index (DII), which considers associations of 45 food parameters with levels of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines in the blood, and the risk for dementia in community-dwelling older adults. The cohort included 1,059 individuals from the Hellenic Longitudinal Investigation of Aging and Diet, who were followed for a mean of 3.05 years.

The researchers found that 62 participants developed incident dementia. The risk for dementia incidence was significantly increased with each additional unit of DII (hazard ratio, 1.21). Participants in the highest (maximal pro-inflammatory diet potential) versus the lowest DII tertile were three times more likely to develop incident dementia. The test for trend was significant, indicating a dose-response correlation.


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“There may be some potent nutritional tools in your home to help fight the inflammation that could contribute to brain aging,” a coauthor said in a statement. “Diet is a lifestyle factor you can modify, and it might play a role in combating inflammation, one of the biological pathways contributing to risk for dementia and cognitive impairment later in life.”

One author disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies.

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