The Italian Almanac

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mediterranean diet

Italian News / Science - April 19

New research has given Italians an extra reason to stick with the classic Mediterranean diet. A Columbia University study has shown that, as well as fending off problems like heart trouble, diabetes and cancer, the Italian diet of pasta, fresh vegetables, fish and olive oil also slashes the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer's is a progressive, irreversible form of dementia. The symptoms are memory loss, followed by impaired thought and speech and, eventually, complete helplessness. There is no cure, although experts say new treatments are on the horizon.

The study revealed that the diet's most loyal followers are 40% less likely to get Alzheimer's than the general population. The less strictly a person follows the diet, the more likely they are to become an Alzheimer's sufferer. The research was conducted on 2,258 New Yorkers who follow the Mediterranean diet to varying degrees.

The results have been published in the Annals of Neurology - the official journal of the American Neurological Association.