Navigation Links
Diet, nutrient levels linked to cognitive ability, brain shrinkage
Date:12/28/2011

CORVALLIS, Ore. New research has found that elderly people with higher levels of several vitamins and omega 3 fatty acids in their blood had better performance on mental acuity tests and less of the brain shrinkage typical of Alzheimer's disease while "junk food" diets produced just the opposite result.

The study was among the first of its type to specifically measure a wide range of blood nutrient levels instead of basing findings on less precise data such as food questionnaires, and found positive effects of high levels of vitamins B, C, D, E and the healthy oils most commonly found in fish.

The research was done by scientists from the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Ore., and the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. It was published today in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

"This approach clearly shows the biological and neurological activity that's associated with actual nutrient levels, both good and bad," said Maret Traber, a principal investigator with the Linus Pauling Institute and co-author on the study.

"The vitamins and nutrients you get from eating a wide range of fruits, vegetables and fish can be measured in blood biomarkers," Traber said. "I'm a firm believer these nutrients have strong potential to protect your brain and make it work better."

The study was done with 104 people, at an average age of 87, with no special risk factors for memory or mental acuity. It tested 30 different nutrient biomarkers in their blood, and 42 participants also had MRI scans to measure their brain volume.

"These findings are based on average people eating average American diets," Traber said. "If anyone right now is considering a New Year's resolution to improve their diet, this would certainly give them another reason to eat more fruits and vegetables."

Among the findings and observations:

  • The most favorable cognitive outcomes and brain size measurements were associated with two dietary patterns high levels of marine fatty acids, and high levels of vitamins B, C, D and E.

  • Consistently worse cognitive performance was associated with a higher intake of the type of trans-fats found in baked and fried foods, margarine, fast food and other less-healthy dietary choices.

  • The range of demographic and lifestyle habits examined included age, gender, education, smoking, drinking, blood pressure, body mass index and many others.

  • The use of blood analysis helped to eliminate issues such as people's flawed recollection of what they ate, and personal variability in nutrients absorbed.

  • Much of the variation in mental performance depended on factors such as age or education, but nutrient status accounted for 17 percent of thinking and memory scores and 37 percent of the variation in brain size.

  • Cognitive changes related to different diets may be due both to impacts on brain size and cardiovascular function.

The epidemiology of Alzheimer's disease has suggested a role for nutrition, the researchers said in their study, but previous research using conventional analysis, and looking in isolation at single nutrients or small groups, have been disappointing. The study of 30 different blood nutrient levels done in this research reflects a wider range of nutrients and adds specificity to the findings.

The study needs to be confirmed with further research and other variables tested, the scientists said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Maret Traber
maret.traber@oregonstate.edu
541-737-7977
Oregon State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Vegetarian diet, physical activity protect against diabetes in black population, study shows
2. Pancreatic cancers use fructose, common in the Western diet, to fuel their growth
3. Do TV ads affect childrens diet, obesity?
4. UIC receives $1 million grant to study fat taxes, diet, obesity
5. Strip-till improves nutrient uptake and yield
6. Spiral constriction -- how dynamin mediates cellular nutrient uptake
7. Drought-exposed leaves adversely affect soil nutrients, study shows
8. Goji berries have the same nutrients as fruits and vegetables and a placebo effect
9. Drinking 100 percent fruit juice is linked to higher intake of essential nutrients
10. Loss of nutrients following gastric bypass surgery in adolescent girls
11. Some trees farm bacteria to help supply nutrients
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/1/2016)... 1, 2016  Today, the first day of American ... to develop a first of its kind workplace health ... Watson. In the first application of Watson ... IBM ), and Welltok will create a new offering ... cognitive analytics, delivered on Welltok,s health optimization platform. The ...
(Date:1/28/2016)... (NASDAQ: SYNA ), a leading developer of human interface solutions, ... 2015. --> --> Net ... compared to the comparable quarter last year to $470.5 million. Net ... or $0.93 per diluted share. --> ... fiscal 2016 grew 9 percent over the prior year period to ...
(Date:1/25/2016)...   Unisys Corporation (NYSE: UIS ) today announced ... International Airport, New York City , to help ... to enter the United States using passports ... pilot testing of the system at Dulles last year. The ... during January 2016. --> pilot testing of the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/4/2016)... ... February 04, 2016 , ... ... Digital Forensics Club, takes place February 5-6 at the University’s student center, ... and activities such as workshops and competitions for ample networking, learning and ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... JUNCTION, N.J. , Feb. 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... care immunotherapy leader commercializing its flagship CytoSorb® blood ... cardiac surgery patients around the world, announced that ... will present at the Source Capital Group,s 2016 ... and update on the company.  ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... --> --> Q BioMed ... provide the following update on recent corporate developments. ... months we have significantly increased our cash position through several ... result, we have positioned ourselves to execute on the initial ... that development to continue on schedule. --> ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... -- Spherix Incorporated (Nasdaq: SPEX ) -- an intellectual property development ... property, today provided an update on the Company,s cases ... Texas and announcing that those ... Re-examination ("IPR") proceedings that VTech and Uniden filed ... on only certain claims of two of the patents ...
Breaking Biology Technology: