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MINDY KIM-MILLER, MD, PhD
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Can the foods I eat affect my chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease?
–Helen, 62, New York
Nutrition and Brain Aging
Good nutrition is important not only for maintaining overall good physical health but may also help prevent the development and progression of dementia. Studies suggest that eating “brain healthy” foods including fruits, vegetables, and fish may improve cognition and reduce the risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other age-related diseases.
With aging, the body accumulates damage to DNA and proteins due to oxidative stress (damage caused by a form of oxygen) and inflammation. As this damage accumulates in the brain, brain cells die or lose their ability to function properly, which contributes to brain aging and degenerative diseases including dementia. Furthermore, the aging brain becomes more sensitive to oxidative and inflammatory stressors, which accelerates the aging process.
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