As there is currently no cure for dementia, there is an urgent need for preventive strategies. The current review provides an overview of the existing evidence examining the associations of the Mediterranean, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), and Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diets and their dietary components with cognitive decline, dementia, and Alzheimer's disease (AD). A systematic search was conducted within Ovid Medline for studies published up to 27 March 2019 and reference lists from existing reviews and select articles were examined to supplement the electronic search results. In total, 56 articles were included. Higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with better cognitive scores in 9 of 12 cross-sectional studies, 17 of 25 longitudinal studies, and 1 of 3 trials. Higher adherence to the DASH diet was associated with better cognitive function in 1 cross-sectional study, 2 of 5 longitudinal studies, and 1 trial. Higher adherence to the MIND diet was associated with better cognitive scores in 1 cross-sectional study and 2 of 3 longitudinal studies. Evidence on the association of these dietary patterns with dementia in general was limited. However, higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with a lower risk of AD in 1 case-control study and 6 of 8 longitudinal studies. Moreover, higher adherence to the DASH or MIND diets was associated with a lower AD risk in 1 longitudinal study. With respect to the components of these dietary patterns, olive oil may be associated with less cognitive decline. In conclusion, current scientific evidence suggests that higher adherence to the Mediterranean, DASH, or MIND diets is associated with less cognitive decline and a lower risk of AD, where the strongest associations are observed for the MIND diet.
Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; DASH; MIND; Mediterranean; cognition; cognitive decline; dementia; dietary components; dietary patterns; nutrition.
Copyright © American Society for Nutrition 2019.