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Healthy Lifestyles Protect against Dementia and Chronic Diseases

(Swanson Health Products) Five healthy behaviors significantly reduce the risk of dementia and chronic disease, according to British research. Although it seems obvious that living a healthier lifestyle would reduce overall risk of disease and mortality, evidence from long-term studies on the relationships between specific diseases and behaviors is limited. To address this, researchers at the University of Bristol looked at the effects of smoking, body mass, physical activity, diet and alcohol consumption over a 30 year period in 2,235 men aged 45-59 years at the beginning of the study.
Healthy behaviors were defined as: non-smoking, BMI of 18 to under 25, consumption of 3-4 serving of fruits and vegetables per day, regular exercise, and low alcohol intake. Subjects who practiced four or five of these healthy behaviors had a 60% lower risk of dementia and 70% fewer cases of diabetes, heart disease and stroke compared to subjects who practiced none of them. For cognitive impairment, regular exercise was the most significant behavioral factor, with subjects who got regular exercise reducing their risk of impairment by 36%.
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