The Influence of the Mediterranean Diet on Cognitive Health

Helen Macpherson, Jaime Lee, Lorena Villalon, Matthew Pase, Andrew Pipingas, Andrew Scholey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Neurocognitive function is influenced by a number of systemic biological processes that are susceptible to dietary intervention. It is known, for example, that cardiovascular dysfunction and concomitant inflammatory and oxidative stress processes can negatively effect cognitive function, especially during aging. Indeed, these represent significant risk factors for disorders such as mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease. A growing body of evidence suggests that adherence to the Mediterranean diet may reduce these pathological processes. It follows that the Mediterranean diet may also positively affect cognitive functioning. This chapter reviews epidemiological studies indicating that the Mediterranean diet supports healthy cognitive aging. Such studies are supported by (relatively rarer) controlled trials, which indicate that switching to the Mediterranean diet may even enhance mood and cognition in younger individuals. Possible mechanisms underlying the association between adherence to the Mediterranean diet and protection against age-related cognitive decline are considered.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Mediterranean Diet
Subtitle of host publicationAn Evidence-Based Approach
EditorsVictor R. Preedy, Ronald Ross Watson
Place of PublicationLondon, UK
PublisherAcademic Press
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9780124079427
ISBN (Print)9780124078499
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Cognition
  • Dementia
  • Mediterranean diet

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