Foods that increase risk of Alzheimer's


In a recent study posted to the medRxiv preprint* server, researchers in the United States investigated whether higher Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII) scores were related to an increased incidence of dementia due to Alzheimer's disease (AD) or any other cause.

Dementia is one of the world's most significant health and social care issues.

The DII was created primarily to evaluate the inflammatory contents of the diet. Several studies have found a link between DII and neurodegenerative disease outcomes. However, evidence is scarce on the involvement of DII-evaluated diet-induced inflammation in new-onset AD or any other cause of dementia.

The study outcome was new-onset AD or any other cause of dementia. The study exposure was the cumulative Dietary Inflammatory Index score, derived based on prior studies that linked individual diet-related factors to inflammatory biomarkers such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), C-reactive protein (CRP), and interleukins (ILs)-1β, 4, 6, and 10. The Dietary Inflammatory Index was calculated using the validated 131.0-component Harvard semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire.

In total, 1,487 individuals were included, among whom the mean age was 69 years, 53% were female, 32% were college graduates, and 246 individuals developed any-cause dementia (inclusive of 187 AD patients) over 22 years of follow-up (median: 13 years). The mean Dietary Inflammatory Index score was -0·3, indicating that the sample population consumed anti-inflammatory diets.

Higher or pro-inflammatory Dietary Inflammatory Index scores were linked to increases in any-cause and AD dementia incidences, adjusting for participants' gender and age (HR, 1.2), and the associations remained unaltered after additional adjustments for clinical, lifestyle, and demographic variables (HR, 1.2).

Source: medRxiv preprint 2023