Cheese is healthy for us if we consume the right cheese in the right amounts to manage cholesterol and heart health, but did you know that eating cheese every day could 'strongly' cut the risk of getting dementia - while drinking red wine may also offer extra protection, a study has found.
Dementia's biggest known risk factor is ageing, and as life expectancies across the developed world grow, more and more people are expected to be diagnosed with conditions such as Alzheimer's.
As a result, scientists are working hard to research potential ways of fending off these progressive disorders so that individuals can be more confident of remaining healthy in old age.
One recent study indicates that simply eating cheese every day could 'strongly' cut the risk of dementia and its associated brain decline.
The Express reports that the promising finding has been published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.
Researchers looked at the way decisions related to diet can affect fluid intelligence (FI) - the basic processes involved in abstract problem-solving without prior knowledge.
When age-related FI loss happens at a greater rate, it heightens the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Studies have suggested that certain diets can have a bearing on rates of decline, but there is uncertainty around the way long-term food consumption affects FI among adults with or without a family history of Alzheimer's.
The Journal of Alzheimer's Disease study attempted to fill in the gaps by examining how someone's overall diet could be linked with dementia among those in mid-to-late-life both at-risk, and not-at-risk, of getting Alzheimer's.
More than 1,700 adults took part, with their 10-year FI trajectories being compared with their diets based on a questionnaire which listed 49 whole foods.
Researchers discovered that daily cheese intake 'strongly' predicted better FI trajectory scores over time.
Drinking alcohol of any type daily also appeared to be beneficial and "red wine was sometimes additionally protective", they wrote.
Eating lamb on a weekly basis was associated with improved outcomes too.
"Among at-risk groups, added salt correlated with decreased performance," the researchers added.
They concluded: "Modifying meal plans may help minimise cognitive decline.
"We observed that added salt may put at-risk individuals at greater risk, but did not observe similar interactions among FH [familial history of Alzheimer's] and Alzheimer's individuals.
"Observations further suggest in risk status-dependent manners that adding cheese and red wine to the diet daily, and lamb on a weekly basis, may also improve long-term cognitive outcomes."
As always, different studies have alternative outcomes and findings, this one isn’t suitable, if for example you choose to avoid red meat and or alcohol.
Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia which has been found to be closely linked with type 2 diabetes.
If you’re concerned about your health, always consult your GP before embarking on any new health regimes, especially if you or a loved one are suffering with high cholesterol.
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