Exercise, Healthy Eating Can Reduce Dementia Risk: WHO

WEDNESDAY, May 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, watching your blood pressure, avoiding tobacco and limiting alcohol intake can reduce your risk of dementia, according to World Health Organization guidelines released Tuesday.

The WHO also cautioned against taking dietary supplements such as Vitamins B and E in an attempt to prevent mental decline and dementia, CNN reported.

Dementia affects 50 million people worldwide and there is no effective treatment.

"While some people are unlucky and inherit a combination of genes that makes it highly likely they will develop dementia, many people have the opportunity to substantially reduce their risk by living a healthy lifestyle," Tara Spires-Jones, U.K. Dementia Research Institute program lead and deputy director of the Center for Discovery Brain Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, U.K. told the Science Media Center, CNN reported.

"The WHO has looked at the available evidence and made recommendations that some lifestyle changes, in particular increasing exercise before any cognitive symptoms are present, can reduce dementia risk," she explained.

In terms of healthy eating, the WHO said your best bet is the Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes lots of fruits and vegetables and olive oil, CNN reported.

There are 10 million new cases of dementia every year and that number could triple by 2050, according to the WHO.

It said the disease "can devastate the lives of affected individuals, their carers and families," and that the cost of caring for people with dementia is expected to rise to $2 trillion a year by 2030, CNN reported.

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