Thursday, November 30, 2023

MIND Diet: what it is and what are its neuroprotective benefits

A new study has discovered a robust correlation between the MIND diet and the delayed onset of Parkinson’s disease. Furthermore, it has already been recommended as a preventive measure for Alzheimer’s disease.

The MIND diet is widely acknowledged for its neuroprotective effects in reducing the risk of conditions such as Alzheimer’s and senile dementia. However, Canadian researchers have recently found a strong correlation between adhering to this dietary pattern and the delayed onset of Parkinson’s disease as well.

The MIND diet combines elements from two popular diets, namely the Mediterranean diet and the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet.

According to the study, individuals who closely follow a Mediterranean-type diet have a significantly later onset of Parkinson’s disease. The research indicates a delay of up to 17 years in women and eight years in men. Dr. Silke Appel-Cresswell, from the Division of Neurology at the University of British Columbia (UBC) Faculty of Medicine in Canada, made this observation.

While no drugs currently exist to prevent or delay Parkinson’s disease, the newly discovered evidence suggesting that nutrition could postpone its onset brings optimism, Dr. Appel-Cresswell added.

The research

Regarding the research methodology, the study involved 176 participants and focused on adherence to a diet characterized by reduced meat intake. The diet emphasized vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats, and its impact on the lifetime onset of Parkinson’s disease was examined.

The findings revealed that strict adherence to the MIND diet resulted in a delay of up to 17.4 years in women and 8.4 years in men. The research outcomes were published in the journal Movement Disorders.

Interestingly, the MIND diet exhibited a more significant effect on women’s health, while the Mediterranean diet primarily impacted men. Although the differences between the two diets were subtle, they could provide insights into the influence of certain foods and micronutrients on brain health.

Given that approximately 60% of those diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease are men, the researchers paid particular attention to the gender-specific effects of diet adherence.

Lead researcher Avril Metcalfe-Roach stated that a comprehensive understanding of the gender differences between the MIND diet and the Mediterranean diet is crucial for unraveling the underlying factors contributing to Parkinson’s disease.

The authors of the study suggest that these findings serve as a starting point for further research questions that can significantly advance our understanding of Parkinson’s disease. Additionally, they highlight the brain-gut connection, with Brett Finlay, a professor in UBC’s departments of biochemistry, molecular biology, microbiology, and immunology, emphasizing the impact of healthy eating on cognitive diseases.

The team plans to conduct a more in-depth investigation into the potential connection between the microbiome (intestinal microbe) and its influence on the brain.

Metcalfe-Roach emphasized the numerous benefits of a healthy diet, stating that maintaining a healthy microbiome and consuming a diverse range of plant-based and nutritious foods is crucial for everyone. This study provides further evidence that supports the importance of healthy eating and self-care.


In conclusion, the MIND diet has been found to offer neuroprotective benefits, including a potential delay in the onset of both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. The study highlights the positive correlation between adhering to this dietary pattern and a significantly later age of disease onset. The research underscores the importance of a healthy diet in promoting brain health and suggests that nutrition plays a crucial role in preventing cognitive disorders. Further exploration of the brain-gut connection and the impact of the microbiome on brain health is warranted. Ultimately, this study reinforces the notion that maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet is essential for improving memory and brain function.

This content is published for informational purposes only and cannot replace the work of a professional. We recommend that you consult with your trusted specialized professional.