The Mediterranean diet favors cognitive and memory improvement

A study in which the IMIM has participated has analyzed the cognitive benefits of following a Mediterranean diet over three years.

The study has assessed the consumption of olive oil, fruits and vegetables, among other foods. Photo by Ello on Unsplash

A recent multicenter study in which the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) has collaborated has shown that adherence to a Mediterranean diet could improve global cognition and memory in patients with metabolic syndrome after a period of three years.

Metabolic syndrome, present in 1 in 4 adults worldwide, includes symptoms such as hypertension, hyperglycemia, excess fat around the waist, low HDL cholesterol levels, and elevated triglyceride levels.

The project is based on the PREDIMED-PLUS (PREVENTIONDIetaMEDiterranea Plus) study trial, and has followed 487 male and female volunteers for three years.

In that time, they have found that, while patients with metabolic syndrome without intervention worsen their global cognition and memory results, patients who follow a hypocaloric Mediterranean diet improve them, especially those who combine it with other factors such as physical activity and weight loss.

“Cognitive changes may not be noticeable to people, but they may be more relevant when combined with improvements in their quality of life”
Rafael de la Torre, author of the study and program director at IMIM.

The results have shown that a greater adherence to the Mediterranean diet translates into a greater improvement at the cognitive level and, although the data have not improved for everyone equally, “these cognitive improvements occurred in all the participants. Everyone benefits from following the Mediterranean diet, but to a greater or lesser degree”, states the first author of the work, Natàlia Soldevila-Domènech.

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