In its new set of global guidelines to reduce dementia risk, WHO advises to avoid taking dietary supplements.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently released its new guidelines to reduce dementia risk globally. According to the UN health agency, having a healthy diet, especially a Mediterranean one, maintaining healthy blood pressure, consuming less amount of alcohol, and exercising regularly could help in reducing the risk of the brain condition. With a view to fight dementia and cognitive decline, the agency recommends to avoid taking vitamins B and E, ginkgo, omega-3, antioxidants, and other dietary supplements. In its 78-page report, it has advised people to properly manage their dyslipidemia, diabetes, hypertension, and weight to potentially decrease the risk of cognitive decline and dementia.
“In general and also in relation to cognitive function, the Mediterranean diet is a dietary approach that is studied most extensively. A number of systematic reviews of observational studies have made a conclusion that highly adhering to the Mediterranean diet is associated with reduced Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment risk, but modest adherence is not,” said the WHO report.
Insufficient evidence of social activity and cognitive training reducing dementia risk
According to the report, there was not enough evidence that links reduced dementia risk with social activity. However, the strong connection between good individual well-being and health and social support and participation is largely emphasized in the report. Likewise, the report mentioned that older adults could be given cognitive training. However, again, there was very low to low evidence that links lower dementia risk with cognitive training. According to experts, the WHO report gives sensible and comprehensive recommendations. However, there was not always strong evidence that dementia risk would be reduced with these steps.
An expert said they would advise their patients that what is good for their hearts is good for their brains, probably. On the other hand, some experts welcomed WHO’s recommendation of not using dietary or vitamin supplements. According to the UN health agency, there is a lot that can be done to slow down or delay the progression or onset of dementia. Every year, 10 million new dementia cases are reported, said a spokesperson for the agency. This number is set to increase three times by 2050, the spokesperson added.