Diet therapy for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease in view of traditional Persian medicine: A review

Document Type : Review Article


1 Department of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Biotechnology Research Center, Pharmaceutical Technology Institute, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Department of Traditional Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease and the leading cause of dementia worldwide. Epidemiological studies support the important role of diet in prevention and improvement of AD. In Traditional Persian Medicine (TPM), there is multiple dietary guidelines to prevent and alleviate dementia and memory impairment. Pharmacological studies have been shown that most of the TPM-recommended dietary items can improve memory and cognitive decline and possess anti-amyloidogenic, etc. activities. Among them, garlic (Allium sativum) and its compounds, S-allyl-cysteine and diallyl-disulfide, coconut (Cocos nucifera) oil, saffron (Crocus sativus) and crocin and crocetin, honey, fish, lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) and its major compounds rosmarinic acid, raisin and resveratrol, rose flowers (Rosa damascna) and geraniol, ginger (Zingiber officinale) and its 6‐gingerol and 6-shogaol, cumin (Cuminum cyminum) and its main component cuminaldehyde have been found to possess stronger anti-AD activities. Most of these items exhibited antioxidant and AChE inhibitory activities and decreased lipid peroxidation. They also possessed anti-amyloidogenic effects, reduced cerebral plaques and Aβ-species, suppressed cerebral inflammation and alterations in tau protein and inhibited Aβ-induced apoptosis through various mechanisms. Noticeably, there are similarities between TPM anti-AD diet and the typical Mediterranean diet whose beneficial effects on AD have been widely demonstrated. Given the importance of traditional medicine systems in discovering new medicines and nutraceuticals for curing ailments, considering TPM anti-AD dietary recommendations in future research would be helpful.


Main Subjects

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