FILE - In this Tuesday, April 4, 2017 file photo, an elderly couple walks across a street near the Royal Palace in Madrid. If you want to save your brain, focus on keeping the rest of your body well with exercise and healthy habits rather than popping vitamin pills, say new World Health Organization guidelines for preventing dementia, released on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

What helps prevent dementia? Try exercise, not vitamin pills

May 14, 2019 - 9:05 am

New guidelines for preventing dementia focus on keeping the whole body healthy as a way to prevent mental decline.

Fifty million people worldwide have dementia, and Alzheimer's disease is the most common type. Dementia is currently incurable, but studies show a variety of things can affect the odds of developing it.

The guidelines released Tuesday by the World Health Organization recommend getting enough exercise, eating well, avoiding or quitting smoking, and treating other health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

They take a firm stance against vitamin pills, fish oil and other supplements, saying there's strong evidence they don't prevent mental decline.

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