Alzheimer’s disease, which involves the breakdown of neuronal communication, is currently the 6th leading cause of death. 10% of individuals 65 and older have Alzheimer’s and the incidence in this age range is expected to double from 48 to 88 million by the year 2050 in America.
The current treatment for Alzheimer’s disease consists of a few medications, which only help to slow the progression of the disease. Therefore, it is critical to find more effective methods to prevent the development of Alzheimer’s disease. As pharmacy students, we have the responsibility to promote health and encourage patients to take control of their own well-being.
Here, we focus on the impact diet has on Alzheimer’s disease. The role of diet in the prevention of Alzheimer’s is a growing topic of interest. In particular, a whole-food, plant-based (WFPB) diet, which excludes the consumption of meat, dairy, eggs, and refined foods has been shown to provide health benefits.
In our review of the literature, we identified relationships between components of a WFPB diet and their role in inflammation reduction in Alzheimer’s disease. The consumption of green leafy vegetables, polyphenol-rich foods such as blueberries, and spices such as saffron or turmeric had protective properties. Compared to the Western Diet, a WFPB diet is associated with a decrease in inflammation. Thus, incorporating a WFPB diet into one’s lifestyle may help to prevent the development of Alzheimer’s disease.