Nutrition for dementia prevention: a state of the art update for clinicians

Age Ageing. 2024 May 11;53(Supplement_2):ii30-ii38. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afae030.


Background and objectives: Dementia prevalence continues to rise. It is therefore essential to provide feasible and effective recommendations to encourage healthy brain ageing and reduce dementia risk across the population. Appropriate nutrition represents a potential strategy to mitigate dementia risk and could be recommended by clinicians as part of mid-life health checks and other health initiatives to reduce dementia prevalence. The purpose of this review is to provide a clinician-focused update on the current state of the knowledge on nutrition and dementia prevention.

Methods: Narrative review.

Results: Strong evidence exists to support the consumption of healthy, plant-based dietary patterns (e.g. Mediterranean, MIND or Nordic diet) for maintaining cognitive function and reducing dementia risk in later life and is supported by dementia prevention guideline from leading public health bodies (e.g. World Health Organization). Emerging evidence suggests potential cognitive benefits of consuming specific nutrients/foods (e.g. n-3 fatty acids or fish, flavonols and B-vitamins) and multi-nutrient compounds (e.g. Fortasyn Connect). Challenges and opportunities for integrating nutritional/dietary interventions for dementia prevention into clinical practice are explored in this review.

Conclusions: Appropriate nutrition represents an important factor to help facilitate healthy cognitive ageing and allay dementia risk. The information provided in this article can help clinicians provide informed opinions on appropriate nutritional strategies as part of mid-life Health Checks and other risk reduction initiatives.

Keywords: dementia prevention; dietary change; nutrition; older people; risk reduction.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Cognition
  • Cognitive Aging / psychology
  • Dementia* / epidemiology
  • Dementia* / prevention & control
  • Diet, Healthy*
  • Humans
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Nutritive Value
  • Protective Factors
  • Risk Factors