A study that followed nearly 30,000 adults for more than ten years discovered that six lifestyle factors can significantly reduce memory loss in old age.
Healthy diet, regular exercise, active social interaction, cognitive activity, non-smoking, and avoiding alcohol were all found to significantly affect the rate of memory decline in the study published in the journal BMJ.
Researchers from the National Center for Neurological Disorders in Beijing, China, concluded that “a combination of positive, healthy behaviors is associated with a slower rate of memory decline in cognitively normal older adults.”
It’s completely obvious that the ability to remember things diminishes with age. As a result, this has a major impact on how well you can live and how productive you can be. Dementia risk also rises in conjunction with memory loss.
Scientists found that “a lower probability of progression to mild cognitive impairment and dementia” was linked to people who adopted many healthful habits.
About 29,000 people aged 60 and up with typical cognitive function were enrolled in the China Cognition and Aging Study.
The first memory tests were used to research participants in 2019. The most significant risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease is a variation in the APOE gene, which was also examined. After then, the participants were monitored for a full decade.
Lifestyles that have proven to slow memory decline: healthy diet, regular physical exercise, active social contact, active cognitive activity, never or previously smoked, and never drinking alcohol #LifeIsBeautiful #memory #Alzheimer pic.twitter.com/Isp8YBeJu4
— Arnaud Drijard (@ArnaudDrijard) January 27, 2023
Lifestyle factors were weighted equally, and individuals were given a score between zero and six. According to The Guardian, participants were divided into APOE-carrier and -non-carrier groups as well as favorable (four to six healthy factors), average (two to three healthy factors), and unfavorable (zero to one healthy factor) groups.
A person was considered to have a healthy diet if he took the required amounts of at least seven of the following 12 food groups: fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, dairy, salt, oil, eggs, cereals, legumes, nuts, and tea.
The cognitive activity consisted of doing anything like writing, reading, playing cards, or other games at least twice a week. Another healthy behavior was meeting with friends and family at least twice a week. It involved doing things like seeing friends and relatives, going to work, and socializing.
Other factors were not being a drinker, exercising for over 150 minutes per week at a moderate level or over 75 minutes per week at a high intensity, and not smoking or being an ex-smoker.
The study found that each healthy practice was linked to a lower rate of memory decline over a decade.
Eating healthy was the most effective of the six in preventing memory loss. After that, mental work and then physical labor.
It was also shown that APOE carriers who maintained a healthy lifestyle had a slower rate of memory decline than those who did not.