In the study, it was pointed out that foods such as sausages, kebabs and burgers impair brain health in middle and advanced ages, while unprocessed red meat has a protective effect against dementia.
A project called “Biobank” was started in 2006 to monitor the development of diseases in England.
The project, in which half a million volunteers between the ages of 40 and 69 were registered in four years, envisages monitoring their health status for 30 years.
The most comprehensive study linking processed meat with dementia
Biobank’s data were analyzed in the University of Leeds research. After eight years of follow-up, 2 thousand 896 people were diagnosed with dementia.
The study, whose results are published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, is considered the first comprehensive review to link processed meat with dementia.
It is stated that the 44 percent additional risk increase in the study is due to the consumption of 25 grams of processed meat per day.
Independent experts say it should be taken with caution to explain the risk of dementia with such precise data, but the data generally show that processed meats increase a risk.
In the study, it is stated that 50 grams of unprocessed meat a day reduces the risk of dementia by 19 percent.
Studies in the UK show that the average consumption of processed meat in the country is 25 grams, and the consumption of unprocessed meat is 30 grams per day.
“Dementia is spreading around the world, and nutrition as a modifiable factor may play a role. Our research adds new findings to linking processed meat with a range of noncommunicable diseases,” said Huifeng Zhang, who led the study at the Leeds School of Food Science Nutrition.
There is no data on how veganism and vegetarianism affect the risk of dementia in the study in which people with monitored health reported how often and what kind of meat they consumed.
In the study, it is stated that those who consume high amounts of processed meat are more men, less educated, smoking, overweight, eating less vegetables and fruits, consuming more saturated fat.
However, some scientists point out that about 3,000 dementia cases are a relatively small sample. “These data can’t stop me from eating bacon for breakfast,” said UCL’s Prof Robert Howard.
Dementia is one of the most fatal diseases in the UK. It is estimated that the disease affects 8 percent of people over the age of 60 worldwide.