Risk Reduction and Prevention of Alzheimer's Disease: Biological Mechanisms of Diet

Curr Alzheimer Res. 2020;17(5):407-427. doi: 10.2174/1567205017666200624200651.

Abstract

Alzheimer's Disease (AD) incidence is increasing and with no disease modifying agents available, preventative measures through lifestyle factors are being investigated. Combined with the prevention of AD risk factors such as heart disease, diabetes, and with more recent evidence, microbiome dysfunction, there is a substantial foundation for diet as a modifiable risk factor and preventative measure for AD. Recent evidence suggests AD associated pathologies, such as oxidative stress and inflammation, can be modulated by the lipids, vitamins, and polyphenols obtained through nutritional intake. Furthermore, epidemiological and preclinical evidence has uncovered certain compounds within foods that may have beneficial effects in the prevention of AD, including omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, and resveratrol among others. However, clinical data examining specific compounds are often inconsistent and fail to replicate the preclinical data. On the other hand, dietary patterns such as the Mediterranean or MIND diet have shown promise in terms of clinical outcomes for patients, indicating a reductionist approach to diet is not as effective as a holistic dietary pattern. In this review, we summarize some of the biological mechanisms of key compounds in their relation to AD and how they fit into a dietary pattern that supports the role of diet as a risk reducing factor for AD.

Keywords: Alzheimer`s; Diet; cognition; inflammation; metabolism; microbiome; oxidative stress; prevention.