- Yes! The more saunas, the better protection against dementia. Those taking saunas 4 to 7 times a week were 66% less likely to be diagnosed with dementia than those taking a sauna once a week.
That was a finding recently published in the Age and Ageing journal of a 20-year follow-up study of 2,300 Finnish men who were apparently healthy at the baseline.
The Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study divided the participants into three groups: those taking one sauna a week, or 2-3 times a week, or 4-7 times a week. The risk of Alzheimer's disease was 65% lower for those in the 4-7 times per week group.
In earlier studies, the KIHD has noted that frequent sauna bathing significantly reduces the risk of sudden cardiac death, the risk of death due to coronary artery disease and other cardiac events, as well as overall mortality.
This is the first connection between sauna bathing and dementia risk.
- Further studies are needed to determine the mechanisms between memory diseases and sauna.
According to Professor Jari Laukkanen, the study leader, sauna bathing may protect both the heart and memory to some extent via similar, still poorly known mechanisms. “However, it is known that cardiovascular health affects the brain as well.”
Amazing! Now about those senior moments...
Read the abstract from Science Daily for yourself.
If you understand HRs (Hazard Ratios) and CIs (Confidence Intervals), you may prefer to read it from Age and Ageing.
Tanjaniina Laukkanen, Setor Kunutsor, Jussi Kauhanen, Jari Antero Laukkanen. Sauna bathing is inversely associated with dementia and Alzheimer's disease in middle-aged Finnish men. Age and Ageing, December 2016 DOI: 10.1093/ageing/afw212