Letters to the Editor

Mediterranean diet may help, but does not work miracles

I read with interest the recent article about the Mediterranean diet and its health benefits. While I think it is helpful to explore the health benefits of a Mediterranean diet, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s the combination of nutrition, exercise, cognitive activity, and social engagement leads to the biggest health benefits.

Additionally, the article mentions the connection between the diet and the reduction of Alzheimer’s. While healthy eating and healthy habits do contribute to healthy aging, no diet has been shown to conclusively prevent, treat, or slow down Alzheimer’s disease. Overall healthy lifestyle choices are the best way to improve brain health and reduce risk of cognitive decline.

We should think beyond just diet as we age. The Alzheimer’s Association offers an education class, “Healthy Living for Your Brain and Body,” discussing the research behind healthy habits (including the Mediterranean diet) and their effect on cognitive function. Visit the education tab at alz.org/STL for more information about upcoming classes.

Elyse Murrell, Education and Outreach Manager at Alzheimer’s Association St. Louis Chapter