Navigation Links
Study of nutrition, Alzheimer's links hampered by research approach
Date:1/21/2011

CORVALLIS, Ore. Research is trying to determine whether Alzheimer's disease might be slowed or prevented with nutritional approaches, but a new study suggests those efforts could be improved by use of nutrient "biomarkers" to objectively assess the nutrient status of elderly people at risk for dementia.

The traditional approach, which primarily relies on self-reported dietary surveys, asks people to remember what they have eaten. Such surveys don't consider two common problems in elderly populations the effect that memory impairment has on recall of their diet, or digestive issues that could affect the absorption of nutrients.

This issue is of particular concern, experts say, because age is the primary risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, and the upcoming wave of baby boomers and people 85 years and older will soon place many more people at risk for dementia.

"Dietary and nutritional studies have yielded some intriguing results, but they are inconsistent," said Emily Ho, an associate professor of nutrition at Oregon State University, co-author of the study, and principal investigator with OSU's Linus Pauling Institute.

"If we are going to determine with scientific accuracy whether one or another nutritional approach to preventing dementia may have value, we must have methods that accurately reflect the nutritional status of patients," Ho said. "The gold standard to assess nutritional status should be biomarkers based on blood tests."

The research was just published in Alzheimer's Disease and Associated Disorders, in work supported by the National Institutes of Health. The study was led by Dr. Gene Bowman, a nutrition and aging researcher at Oregon Health and Science University, in collaboration with OSU researchers.

Prevention strategies for Alzehimer's disease are "becoming more feasible," researchers said, because scientists are beginning to understand what populations are at high risk for developing the disease.

"One of the issues in doing a good study is understanding the nutritional status of your participants when you start and how the nutrient treatment changes it," Ho said. "Giving supplements or foods to a person who already has a normal nutritional status of that nutrient may be very different than if the person is deficient."

Complicating the issue, she said, is that elderly people in general may not absorb or process many nutrients as well as younger adults, and because of genetic differences they many have different biological responses to the same level of a nutrient. Knowing what they ate gives, at best, only a partial picture of what their nutritional status actually is. And it also assumes that people, including those with beginning dementia, will always remember with accuracy what their diet actually has been when questioned about 124 food items in an interview that can last up to two hours.

In this study, the scientists recruited 38 elderly participants, half with documented memory deficit and the other half cognitively intact. They compared the reliability of the nutrient biomarkers to food questionnaires administered twice over one month.

The questionnaire was able to determine some nutrient levels, but only in the group with good memory. The reliability of the nutrient biomarkers depended on the nutrient of interest, but overall performed very well.

"Now that we have a reliable blood test for assessing nutritional status, we can begin to study nutrient biomarkers in combination, their interactive features, and how they collectively may influence chronic diseases, including risk for Alzheimer's disease and dementia," Bowman said.

Such approaches could lead to more effective nutritional therapies in the future to promote cognitive health, he said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Emily Ho
emily.ho@oregonstate.edu
541-737-9559
Oregon State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. New study of environmental contaminants in breast milk
2. How the hat fits: Structural biology study reveals shape of epigenetic enzyme complex
3. UC Davis study shows plants moved downhill, not up, in warming world
4. University of Illinois study confirms glycerin as a feasible feedstuff for swine
5. University of Maryland shares NSF grant to study urban development impact
6. Study finds psychological, environmental benefits of horticultural activities
7. New study shows soy protein lowers non-HDL cholesterol significantly more than milk protein
8. Big city life may make residents lean toward green, study says
9. Columbia University uses technological innovation to study bone structure
10. Study finds fisheries management makes coral reefs grow faster
11. UCSF study identifies chemicals in pregnant women
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/15/2016)... 15, 2016 --> ... Transparency Market Research "Digital Door Lock Systems Market - Global ... 2023," the global digital door lock systems market in terms ... and is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 31.8% ... and medium enterprises (MSMEs) across the world and high industrial ...
(Date:3/14/2016)... March 14, 2016 http://www.apimages.com ... --> - Renvoi : image disponible via ... --> --> DERMALOG, le ... de nouveaux lecteurs d,empreintes digitales pour l,enregistrement des ... sera utilisé pour produire des cartes d,identité aux ...
(Date:3/10/2016)... -- --> --> ... Access Management Market by Component (Provisioning, Directory Services, Password ... Size, by Deployment, by Vertical, and by Region - ... is estimated to grow from USD 7.20 Billion in ... Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 12.2% during the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Company Ltd. (Biohaven) ... company’s orphan drug designation request covering BHV-4157 for the treatment of Spinocerebellar Ataxia ... , Spinocerebellar ataxia is a rare, debilitating neurodegenerative disorder that is estimated ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... Media Cybernetics, global image ... Cybernetics corporate branding reflects a results-driven revitalization for a company with a renewed ... components include a crisp, refreshed logo and a new web presence. , “I ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... 2016 Oxitec CEO Hadyn Parry ... 10:15 a.m. ET before the United States House Committee on ... can play in controlling the spread of the Aedes ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150630/227348 ) ... self-limiting gene. Trials in Brazil , ...
(Date:5/22/2016)... ... , ... Doctors in Rome say micronutrients found in certain foods have the ... has just posted an article on the new research. Click here to read ... and Translational Medicine evaluated more than 150 studies on polyphenols in cancer for their ...
Breaking Biology Technology: