Diet and Inflammation in Cognitive Ageing and Alzheimer’s Disease

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Purpose of Review
Nutrition is known to modulate the immune system and may alter neuroinflammatory processes implicated in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and progression of neurodegeneration. Here, we review the evidence for healthy dietary patterns and age-related cognition and discuss potential neuroinflammatory actions of diet on cognitive function.

Recent Findings
Anti-inflammatory dietary patterns such as the Mediterranean diet (MD) and dietary approaches to stop hypertension (DASH) may be neuroprotective. Several dietary components consumed in the MD and DASH (omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and polyphenols) can inhibit neuroinflammation associated with AD. Anti-inflammatory diets may also attenuate neuroinflammation via indirect immune pathways from the gut microbiome and systemic circulation.

Diet may influence cognitive ageing via several inflammatory pathways. However, data from human studies are lacking and the exact mechanisms linking diet to cognitive function remain elusive. Further dietary intervention studies are required to investigate diet-associated neurological change from the earliest through to latest stages of cognitive decline. Furthermore, incorporation of neuroimaging measures in intervention studies would advance current understanding of the mechanistic effects of dietary modification on neuroinflammation in the ageing brain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53–65
JournalCurrent Nutrition Reports
Early online date04 Apr 2019
Publication statusEarly online date - 04 Apr 2019


  • Diet
  • Inflammation
  • Cognitive aging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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