Population studies have shown that a high dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids is linked to a reduced risk of dementia, as well as a reduction in high blood pressure and heart disease. However, clinical studies with omega-3 dietary supplements for the treatment or prevention of dementia such as Alzheimer’s have shown little or no benefit.
In my opinion, like many Mediterranean-style diets, a diet high in fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts, and oily fish has many health benefits, including lower risk of dementia and vascular disease. If you enjoy eating beef, I recommend doing it only occasionally. Until there are clear benefits showing that grass-fed beef has health benefits compared to grain-fed beef, I think eating beef sparingly is far more important than being grass-fed.
DEAR DOCTOR. ROACH: I am a healthy 92 year old woman. I eat a lot of vegetables, fruits, and seafood. My doctor said a 20 year old would be jealous of my blood counts. I work out four days a week with slow jogging, stretching, and weight lifting.
My problem is that my blood pressure is usually 135/70, sometimes a little higher or lower. I’m afraid it’s too high, but my doctor is happy with that number. What is your opinion? – RY
REPLY: A score of 135/70 in a healthy person with no other risk factors is usually not an indication for drug treatment. However, age 92 is at risk for heart disease, and it is a good idea to reduce your risk wherever you can. You seem to be getting on remarkably well with your diet and exercise, and that is likely helping your blood pressure as well.