Adherence to Mediterranean Diet and Cognitive Abilities in the Greek Cohort of Epirus Health Study

Nutrients. 2021 Sep 25;13(10):3363. doi: 10.3390/nu13103363.


The Mediterranean diet is commonly proposed as a major modifiable protective factor that may delay cognitive impairment in the elderly. The aim of the study was to investigate the cross-sectional association of adherence to the Mediterranean diet with cognitive abilities in a younger Greek population. A total of 1201 healthy adults aged 21-77 years (mean: 47.8) from the Epirus Health Study cohort were included in the analysis. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet was measured using the 14-point Mediterranean Diet Adherence Screener (MEDAS) and cognition was measured using the Trail Making Test, the Verbal Fluency test and the Logical Memory test. Statistical analysis was performed using multiple linear regression models adjusted for age, sex, education, body mass index, smoking status, alcohol consumption and physical activity. Overall, no association was found between the MEDAS score and cognitive tests, which could be explained by the young mean age and high level of education of the participants. Future studies should target young and middle-aged individuals to gain further understanding of the association between Mediterranean diet and cognition in this age group.

Keywords: Mediterranean diet; cognition; cognitive abilities; cross-sectional; executive functions; memory; middle-aged; nutrition.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Diet, Mediterranean*
  • Female
  • Greece
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Young Adult