Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Public Health

Comparison between Complementary Dietary Treatment of Alzheimer Disease in Iranian Traditional Medicine and Modern Medicine

Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Public Health

Comparison between Complementary Dietary Treatment of Alzheimer Disease in Iranian Traditional Medicine and Modern Medicine

Article excerpt

Abstract

Background: Dietary notifications have been introduced recently for Alzheimer Disease (AD). In Iranian old medical manuscripts, there are some nutritional recommendations related to Nesyan (AD equivalent). The aim of this article was to compare dietary recommendations of Iranian traditional medicine (ITM) with novel medical outcomes.

Methods: 1) Searching for dietary recommendations and abstinences described in ITM credible manuscripts; 2) Extracting fatty components of ITM diet according to the database of the Department of Agriculture of the USA; 3) Statistical analysis of fatty elements of traditionally recommended foods via Mann-Whitney Test in comparison with elements of the abstinent ones; 4) Searching for AD dietary recommendations and abstinences which currently published in medical journals; 5) Comparing traditional and new dietary suggestions with each other.

Results: 1) Traditionally recommended foods are fattier than abstinent ones (P<0.001). There are meaningful differences between unsaturated fatty acids (UFAs) (P<0.001), saturated fatty acids (P<0.001), and cholesterol (P<0.05) of recommended foods and abstinent ones. 2) Traditionally recommended diet is also fattier than the abstinent diet (4.5 times); UFAs of the recommended diet is 11 times more than that of the abstinent one; it is the same story for cholesterol (1.4 times); 3) Recent studies show that diets with high amounts of UFAs have positive effects on AD; a considerable number of papers emphasizes on probable positive role of cholesterol on AD; 4) Traditional recommended diet is in agreement with recent studies.

Conclusion: ITM recommended diet which is full of unsaturated fatty acids and cholesterol can be utilized for complementary treatment of AD.

Keywords: Alzheimer disease, Traditional Medicine, Diet therapy, Fatty acids, Cholesterol

Introduction

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive and the most prominent old-age debilitating disease which had a notable epidemic growth in recent years. According to statistical analyses, it is estimated that the number of people suffering from AD will double every twenty years; and by 2050, the num- ber of sufferers from AD in the world would reach 115 million (1, 2). Its prevalence is directly related to the age. In 2011, one-eighth of people aged 65 and older and half of people aged 85 and older were diagnosed with AD, approximately; its death toll from 2000 to 2008 has increased by 66% (3). The costs for this disease are so high that one percent of global GDP is spent on AD's consequences (4). Diagnosed patient with AD usually dies after 5 to 7 years (2).

In Iranian Traditional Medicine (ITM) manu- scripts, diseases in which forgetfulness is the main symptom are categorized under Nesyati label. In ITM manuscripts, one of the types of Nesyati which originates from coldness and dryness of the brain has the same symptoms as AD. Forgetting recent events and remembering old happenings, cognitive disturbance, problems in constant talk- ing (language disability), and insomnia are of its most important signs (5, 6) which are similar to AD's according to NINCDS-ADRDA criterion (7). ITM takes nourishment as one of the six pil- lars of health (8, 9); therefore, ITM manuscripts have dedicated a considerable part of their content to nutritional recommendations. In the first vol- ume of Canon of Medicine, Avicenna (970- 1051 A.D.), the great Persian scholar, described those in detail (10). He urged elderly people not to take foods producing black bile (Som/a) such as lentil, eggplant, beef, dried meat, and salted foods; and phlegmatic foods such as fish, watermelon, melon, and cucumber. On the other hand, taking milk, Shirberetij (An Iranian dish consists of milk, rice, sugar, and rosewater), honey milk, and milk with ginger are recommended. Dried fig is also advised to be taken (11).

Apart from preventive recommendations, nutri- tional therapeutic recommendations are included to boost medication and shorten illness-period; and Nesyati is no exception. …

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