The role of diet in preventing and reducing cognitive decline

Cristina Angeloni, Rita Businaro, David Vauzour

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)
23 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose of review: This review summarises the most recent evidence regarding the effects of diet in preventing and reducing age-related cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases.

Recent findings: Recent evidence indicates that nutraceuticals and whole diet approaches may protect against the development of age-related cognitive decline and pathological neurodegeneration. The neuroprotective effects are diverse depending on the nutrient employed and may involve a reduction of neuroinflammation, an activation of the endogenous antioxidant defence system and a modulation of the gut microbiota structure and function.

Summary: This review summarises the existing evidence in favour of diet as a viable alternative approach to directly impact cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases. The single nutrient (polyphenols, B vitamins, long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids) versus whole diet approach (Mediterranean diet, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, MIND, Nordic, ketogenic) is presented and discussed. Potential mechanisms of action underlying the beneficial effects of these diets are also described. Implementation of large-scale preventive interventions based on dietary patterns identified as being beneficial to brain health should be a research and public health priority, ideally in conjunction with other health-promoting lifestyle factors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)432-438
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Psychiatry
Issue number4
Early online date5 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020


  • ageing
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • brain
  • dementia
  • nutrition

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