Maybe! Not yet, but current research is ongoing at a fast pace. Many studies point to a correlation between heart disease and dementia, most commonly Alzheimer’s Disease, the most common type. See my blog for the article titled Dementia.
Current studies on dementia suggest that heart-healthy eating may also help protect the brain. This type of eating includes limiting the intake of sugar and saturated fats, but eating plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. The Mediterranean diet (see my blog} is excellent and includes little red meat, but emphasizes whole grains, fruits and vegetables, fish and shellfish, nuts, olive oil and other healthy fats. This way of eating is low in saturated fats and rich in fish, olive oil, and vegetables, particularly leafy ones which contain vitamin E. Other sources of data confirm that dietary vitamin E, but not supplements, are key to this beneficial effect. Some of the best fish are wild salmon especially Sockeye, sardines, mussels, Lake and Rainbow trout, tuna (albacore) and herring.
Obesity has also been associated with the occurrence of dementia. Of course, no randomized studies can ever be performed to establish whether prevention or treatment of obesity can reduce the incidence of dementia. Similarly, no evidence will ever demonstrate whether physical or intellectual activities, wine drinking or cessation of smoking in midlife can either singly or in combination affect the incidence of dementia several decades later.
Several conditions known to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol also increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Some autopsy studies show that as many as 80 percent of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease also have cardiovascular disease.
Keep in mind that no matter your age, what you eat affects your ability to help lower your risk of heart disease, cancer, and dementia among other illnesses.