In a newly released report that mentions guidelines on how to prevent dementia, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended eating well, exercising, and avoiding some vitamin supplements.
On Tuesday, the WHO has come up with new guidelines in efforts to reduce the risk of dementia and help medical providers to deliver better care and lawmakers to provide better policy around it.
Globally, dementia has already affected more than 50 million people and nearly 10 million new dementia cases are diagnosed each year.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director-General said in a statement, “In the next 30 years, the number of people with dementia is expected to triple. We need to do everything we can to reduce our risk of dementia. The scientific evidence gathered for these guidelines confirm what we have suspected for some time that what is good for our heart, is also good for our brain.”
The WHO’s approximately 100-page report mentions various guidelines with certain degrees of scientific backing.
Eating a well-balanced diet (the WHO specifically mentioned the Mediterranean-like diet), physical activity, not smoking or drinking too much alcohol, managing blood pressure, and maintaining a healthy weight were amongst the recommendations by the Who. The agency said these guidelines might also help reduce the risk of cognitive decline.
The WHO said taking supplements containing vitamins B and E, polyunsaturated fatty acids and other multivitamins is not recommended to reduce the risk of dementia.
Dementia affects memory, orientation, comprehension, judgment and other cognitive functions. The WHO said a variety of conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease or stroke, could cause dementia.
The reports stated, “While age is the strongest known risk factor for cognitive decline, dementia is not a natural or inevitable consequence of aging. Prevention of dementia is possible through a public health approach.”