Latest News » Decades-long study finds healthy lifestyles reduce or delay dementia risk

A healthy lifestyle comprised of a balanced diet, regular exercise and moderate alcohol intake can help delay or prevent diseases like dementia and cancer.

A healthy lifestyle comprised of a balanced diet, regular exercise and moderate alcohol intake can help delay or prevent diseases like dementia and cancer.

The importance of a healthy lifestyle is often talked about but rarely put into a perspective as impressive as this one. A study that began way back in 1979 just recently published it findings, pointing to 25 men who adhered to healthy living rules over the past 35 years and have been consequently able to ward off or delay dementia, stroke and heart disease.

UK news publication The Daily Mail reports that the South Wales study kicked off in 1979 with over 2,500 male participants who agreed to follow five guidelines for the rest of their lives: eating a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight, refraining from smoking, drinking alcohol in moderation and exercising regularly. As part of the study, the men would then report back to the researchers every five years for questioning and a medical exam. But by the end of it, only 25 were able to say that they had stuck to the project's rules. The results, however, appear to have been well worth the effort.

According to the researchers, these 25 men—who spanned ages 45 to 59 at the beginning of the survey, now in their 80s and 90s—exhibited a 60 percent reduced likelihood of developing dementia thanks to adhering to at least of four of the healthy living guidelines. Heart attack and stroke risks were also down by just as much, and 40 percent fewer cancers were reported as well.

"Although following these steps does not give them complete protection against disease, the men who, despite living healthily, developed a disease did so at a much older age than the men neglectful of their lifestyle," Professor Peter Elwood, one of the study's lead authors, tells the source. "Thus the development of heart disease was delayed by up to six years and it was up to around an additional 12 years before dementia took its grip."

Click here to read about our selection of brain support supplements.