Slowing Alzheimer’s? Diet And Other Lifestyle Changes May Be Key, Study Finds

by | Jun 11, 2024


Food Politics logo.

Dr. Marion Nestle is a renowned nutrition professor at NYU and Cornell. She follows-up on food industry funded research to present a clearer picture of the results and their trustability. Do the claims the industry makes actually hold up under review? Keep an eye on our Fact Check files to find out.

This seems to be a slow news week so I’m going to get caught up on research papers I think worth reading.

I first heard about this study from this video, from Dr. Greger’s newsletter announcement (I subscribe).

Here’s the study: Ornish D, et al.  Effects of intensive lifestyle changes on the progression of mild cognitive impairment or early dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease: a randomized, controlled clinical trial.  Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy volume 16, Article number: 122 (2024).

It put 50 or so people in their 70s or older on “an intensive multidomain lifestyle intervention compared to a wait-list usual care control group” for 20 weeks.

People on the lifestyle intervention—diet, exercise, stress management, group support—did better.

The first author, Dean Ornish, runs a lifestyle modification program.

Comment: Wouldn’t this be terrific!  At the very least it is further evidence for the health benefits of a largely (not necessarily exclusively) plant-based diet.  Eating plant foods is strongly associated with prevention of any number of undesirable conditions.  The Alzheimer’s Association already recommends the DASH or Mediterranean diet patterns; both are plant based.

Eat your veggies.  Do so cannot hurt and might help—a lot.

About Marion Nestle

Marion Nestle is Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, Emerita, at New York University, which she chaired from 1988-2003 and from which she officially retired in September 2017. She is also Visiting Professor of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell. She earned a Ph.D. in molecular biology and an M.P.H. in public health nutrition from the University of California, Berkeley, and has been awarded honorary degrees from Transylvania University in Kentucky (2012) and from the City University of New York’s Macaulay Honors College (2016). In 2023, she was awarded The Edinburgh Medal (for science and society).