Cheese Reduces Risk of Dementia, Research Says


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Doctors recommend staying physically active, maintaining a nutritious diet and avoiding smoking to promote mental health as you age. Recently, scientists have included the inclusion of cheese in these recommendations as a beneficial factor.

According to research, cheese reduces the risk of dementia (Image: Krishijagarn)
According to research, cheese reduces the risk of dementia (Image: Krishijagarn)

Dementia is a cognitive impairment condition that affects a person’s thinking, comprehension, and memory abilities, often occurring as people age. Although there is no known cure for dementia, it can be managed through healthy lifestyle and dietary choices. Researchers have found support for adding cheese to your diet to potentially reduce the risk of dementia and boost cognitive fitness.

Here’s what the research says

Recent Japanese studies have revealed a link between cheese consumption and reduced risk of various brain-related problems such as dementia and Parkinson’s disease. These results, published in Journal of Nutritionare based on an analysis of data from nearly 1,600 adults age 65 and older. The study found that people who ate the most cheese had a 44 percent lower risk of dementia than those who ate the least amount of cheese. Additionally, research has shown that cheese eaters have a lower risk of brain diseases, including Parkinson’s disease and stroke.

How can cheese, or other dairy products, help reduce cognitive decline?

According to Patrick Porter, PhD, neuroscientist and founder of BrainTap, a well-balanced diet rich in key nutrients is essential for optimal brain health. He emphasizes that cheese and dairy products offer specific nutrients like choline and amino acids, which are important components for neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters play an important role in facilitating communication between nerve cells, a process fundamental to cognitive functions such as memory, concentration and decision-making. Additionally, the inclusion of vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids in cheese contributes to a healthy nervous system, which serves as the foundation for cognitive function, according to Porter’s insights.

What is dementia?

Dementia is a condition characterized by a decline in cognitive abilities such as thinking, memory and reasoning to the extent that it interferes with a person’s daily life and activities. It can also lead to emotional instability and personality changes. Dementia varies in severity, from mild stages where it begins to affect function to severe stages where individuals need full assistance with basic daily tasks such as eating.

Common symptoms of dementia

  • Memory impairment, impaired judgment, and mental confusion

  • Challenges with communication, understanding and expressing ideas, as well as reading and writing

  • Getting disoriented and lost in familiar surroundings

  • Difficulty managing finances and handling bills responsibly

  • Repeatedly asking the same question

  • Using unusual terms for familiar objects

  • Slowness in performing daily tasks

  • Decreased interest in normal daily activities and events.

  • Experiencing delusions, hallucinations, or insanity

  • Demonstrating inspiring behavior

  • Showing a lack of empathy for the feelings of others

  • Experiencing balance problems and mobility problems

First Published: 02 Oct 2023, 14:36 ​​IST

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