A new study suggests that regularly eating cheese, particularly the processed kind, could lower the risk of developing dementia in later life. The study, conducted in Tokyo, Japan, monitored the health, physical activity, and eating habits of 1,516 individuals aged over 65.
Participants in the study answered a series of cognitive tests, which assessed their memory, language, orientation, attention, and visual-spatial skills. Those who included cheese in their diets were less likely to score poorly on these cognitive tests, with cheese-eaters scoring an average of 28 points compared to 27 points for those who did not consume cheese.
Interestingly, the study also found that cheese-eaters had slightly lower blood pressure and body mass index (BMI), a faster walking speed, and greater variety in their diets. However, they had higher cholesterol and blood sugar levels compared to the non-cheese group.
The authors of the study suggested that a dietary pattern characterized by a high intake of dairy products, including cheese, could be associated with a reduced risk of developing dementia. They emphasized the need for further studies to determine the specific role of cheese in preventing dementia.
It is important to note that the study did not establish a causal relationship between cheese consumption and dementia risk. However, it adds to the growing body of research suggesting that a healthy diet, including dairy products like cheese, may have benefits for cognitive function.
Dementia is a major public health concern, affecting millions of people worldwide. In the UK alone, around 944,000 people currently live with dementia, and this number is expected to exceed one million by 2030. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, and it is believed to be caused by the accumulation of proteins in the brain.
Overall, while the study’s findings are intriguing, more research is needed to fully understand the relationship between cheese consumption and dementia risk. In the meantime, maintaining a balanced diet and adopting a healthy lifestyle can contribute to overall brain health.
– Nutrients: https://www.mdpi.com/journal/nutrients
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