In March 2020 researchers from Poland published their review on the role of certain bioactive compounds that appear to be effective in preventing neurodegeneration. The researchers stated that neurodegeneration is a feature of many debilitating, incurable age-dependent diseases that affect the nervous system and represent a major threat to the health of elderly individuals. In fact the incidence of neurodegenerative diseases is becoming a global public health concern. A major cause of age-related dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, and although there are no effective therapies to slow, stop, or reverse its progression, many studies have suggested that modification of lifestyle factors, eg diet, may be able to delay or prevent the onset of this disorder. Diet is currently considered to be a crucial factor in preventing oxidative stress and chronic inflammation, and thereby reducing the risk of chronic degenerative diseases. It is thought that a large number of bioactive food compounds may influence the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, with phenolic compounds, omega-3 fatty acids, fat-soluble vitamins, isothiocyanates, and carotenoids seeming to be promising. They act not only as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents, but also as active modifiers of the pathological mechanisms that play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease, including the formation of amyloid plaques, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. Studies have suggested that diet can have a positive effect on the health of older people and may prevent age-related cognitive decline, especially when the diet contains more than one bioactive nutrient. The Mediterranean diet and in particular its combination with Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, which is called the MIND diet, are dietary patterns which are rich in bioactive compounds that appear to be the most effective in preventing neurodegeneration.
Grodzicki W, Dziendzikowska K. The Role of Selected Bioactive Compounds in the Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease. Antioxidants (Basel). 2020 Mar 11;9(3). pii: E229