Avoiding dementia in old age could be as easy as drinking orange juice every morning, a new study has found.
Researchers tracked the diets of over 28,000 men for two decades, starting from when they were 51 years old until well into their 70s. They found a link between a decreased risk of developing dementia and drinking orange juice.
The findings were published in the journal Neurology.
Orange Juice Linked To Decreased Risk Of Dementia
A total of 27,842 men were involved in the study that spanned from 1986 to 2002. The researchers used questionnaires collected every four years to gather data on diet, specifically the frequency of eating fruits and vegetables. The men were also evaluated according to subjective cognitive function or SCF in 2008 and 2012.
They found that, generally, eating healthy early in life can cut the risk of dementia. Men who regularly ate the most vegetables over two decades were found to be 17 percent less likely to have moderate cognitive problems and 34 percent less likely to have extensive cognitive issues in their later years.
For daily orange juice drinkers, the difference was significant. Men who drank orange juice every day were 47 percent less likely to develop poor thinking skills than men who consumed less than one serving of the fruit per month.
"The protective role of regular consumption of fruit juice was mainly observed among the oldest men," stated Changzheng Yuan, lead author of the study. "Since fruit juice is usually high in calories from concentrated fruit sugars, it's generally best to consume no more than a small glass (four to six ounces) per day."
Eating Healthy To Avoid Dementia
Moreover, the study has its own limitations. For one, the researchers did not test the participants' memory and thinking skills prior to the research in order to more accurately assess cognitive decline.
Age is still a major risk factor for dementia. There is still no cure for the disease, but there are drugs available to temporarily improve or stabilize memory loss.