Diet and Inflammation in Alzheimer's Disease and Related Chronic Diseases: A Review

J Alzheimers Dis. 2016;50(2):301-34. doi: 10.3233/JAD-150765.


Inflammation is one of the pathological features of the neurodegenerative disease, Alzheimer's disease (AD). A number of additional disorders are likewise associated with a state of chronic inflammation, including obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type-2 diabetes, which are themselves risk factors for AD. Dietary components have been shown to modify the inflammatory process at several steps of the inflammatory pathway. This review aims to evaluate the published literature on the effect of consumption of pro- or anti-inflammatory dietary constituents on the severity of both AD pathology and related chronic diseases, concentrating on the dietary constituents of flavonoids, spices, and fats. Diet-based anti-inflammatory components could lead to the development of potent novel anti-inflammatory compounds for a range of diseases. However, further work is required to fully characterize the therapeutic potential of such compounds, including gaining an understanding of dose-dependent relationships and limiting factors to effectiveness. Nutritional interventions utilizing anti-inflammatory foods may prove to be a valuable asset in not only delaying or preventing the development of age-related neurodegenerative diseases such as AD, but also treating pre-existing conditions including type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; cardiovascular disease; curcumin; diabetes; diet; docosahexaenoic acid; eicosapentaenoic acid; flavonoids; inflammation; obesity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / pathology*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Diet*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / pathology*
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / pathology*