Navigation Links
Cutting Calories May Boost Aging Brains
Date:1/26/2009

Memory, thinking improved for those who ate less, study found

MONDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Eating less to remember more might become a new prescription for some elderly people, German researchers say.

They found that memory and thinking skills improved among healthy, overweight subjects who cut their calorie intake by 30 percent over a three-month period.

If further research supports this conclusion, "from a public health point of view, you could actually do something for the prevention of cognitive decline from aging," said lead researcher Dr. Agnes Floel, assistant professor of neurology at the University of Munster.

The study suggests that the calorie restriction may boost memory and cognition by reducing insulin resistance and inflammation, which may be linked to age-related cognitive decline. Improvements in memory could be especially important, the study added, because memory losses are an early indication of Alzheimer's disease and its precursor, mild cognitive impairment.

The research also tested whether a dietary increase in unsaturated fatty acids, such as the omega-3 fatty acids found in some fish, would yield similar benefits. Although these healthy fats have spurred better cognitive performance in rats, the new study failed to find a similar effect in humans.

The findings were expected to be published in the Jan. 27 online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The 49 men and women in the study had a mean age of 60.5 years and a body mass index of 28. Body mass index is a measure of overweight and obesity, with overweight starting at a BMI of 25 and obesity at 30.

Those in the calorie-restriction group were not told what to eat but were advised to cut portions and not to eat less than 1,200 calories daily.

The calorie restrictors lost an average of five pounds, with those who most closely adhered to the dietary recommendations losing an average of eight pounds. This subset with the largest weight loss also showed the biggest improvements in memory performance, Floel noted.

Lona Sandon, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, questioned whether the cognitive and memory improvements among those who restricted calories were the result of weight loss, rather than just cutting calories.

"With any weight loss, you'd expect the results they found," she said. "You'd expect better glucose, better insulin levels, and better C-reactive protein levels. C-reactive protein and high insulin levels are associated in other studies with high inflammation," Sandon explained. "You'd expect those metabolic changes with a small amount of weight loss."

Calorie restriction does have its drawbacks, however. According to Sandon, there's the danger that older people will not get adequate nutrition as they naturally begin to eat less in their early 60s. For that reason, it's important for people this age to maintain a healthy body weight, she said.

Floel, a neurologist, agreed that it is difficult to tease out whether the cognitive and memory improvements were a result of weight loss. "They always go together in a way," she said. Her research group plans additional studies trying to replicate their results in a larger population. Future study will also look at the correlation between calorie restriction and changes detected by MRI in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex areas of the brain. The hippocampus deals with memory, and the prefrontal cortex controls executive functions and information retrieval strategies, she explained.

The benefits of dietary increases in unsaturated fatty acids also will be researched further, the team said. Floel's group will test whether the use of fatty acid-rich supplements such as fish oil can provide more accurate results than merely asking participants to improve their fish consumption, Floel added.

More information

There's more on maintaining a healthy weight at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.



SOURCES: Agnes Floel, M.D., assistant professor, neurology, department of neurology, University of Munster, Munster, Germany; Lona Sandon, M.Ed., R.D., University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas; Jan. 27, 2009, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Prominent New York City Personal Injury Law Firm Founded in 1968 Stays at the Cutting Edge with Launch of Video-Based Website
2. Cutting Medicaid Hospice Benefit Would Cost Florida More, Put Neediest Individuals at Risk
3. Pharmaceutical and Health Care Experts to Detail Cost-Cutting Capabilities of Secure Digital Signatures
4. Posit Science Invited to Speak at Johns Hopkins University About Cutting Edge Cognitive Training Interventions
5. Blue Cross/Blue Shield Christmas Gift to Federal Employees: Surprise, Were Cutting Your Benefits!; Patients, Doctors and Health Care Providers Outraged
6. Alzheimer's Disease Cutting Edge Research Announced on Natural Health News Report Website
7. Consumers and plastic surgeons say economy is cutting into cosmetic procedures
8. Consumers and Plastic Surgeons Say Economy Is Cutting Into Cosmetic Procedures
9. World Renowned Champalimaud Foundation Extends its Mission with Groundbreaking for Cutting-Edge Research Center
10. PeopleClick, LLC Provides Cutting-Edge Servicing to Parents and Families
11. Beverage Industry Continues Cutting Calories in Schools, Delivering on Its Commitment to Change Beverage Mix
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Cutting Calories May Boost Aging Brains
(Date:4/30/2016)... , ... April 30, 2016 , ... ... announced RANKED Health , a program to critically evaluate and rank health-focused ... of the program is to provide independent, unbiased and accurate information to help ...
(Date:4/30/2016)... ... 30, 2016 , ... Orlando-based Maximized Living has selected Dr. Nick Wilson of ... Under the care of Maximized Living doctors at the London Olympics in 2012, ... Living is sending the largest contingent of elite chiropractors to Rio to support and ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) that it has received accreditation ... the first accreditation of three residency programs that Memorial is currently pursuing, including ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... 29, 2016 , ... Dr. Bernie Siegel, (M.D.) ... MEDICINE and MIRACLES") addresses touchy topics related to Death live on Dr. ... Dr. Bernie Siegel, author of a plethora of essential books-to-read for physicians and ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... , ... April 29, 2016 , ... Spine Team Texas, ... is proud to announce one of their physicians has been invited to be a ... (Texas ACOFP) Family Practice Review conference on April 30, 2016. , Dr. R. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/28/2016)... 28, 2016  While Abbott,s announced purchase of ... valve repair and stent business, healthcare research firm ... more firmly into patient monitoring.  Kalorama said that ... device areas, with double-digit growth expected the next ... Advanced Remote Patient Monitoring . Abbott Laboratories ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... Calif. , April 28, 2016  Marking ... widely accessible breast and ovarian cancer risk test, ... panel analyzing 30 genes that highly impact the ... women. Available today, the Color Test analyzes hereditary ... prostate, stomach, and uterine cancers. The Color Test ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016  The blood testing ... million dollars, according to Kalorama Information and The Freedonia ... immunoassays and nucleic acid testing.  The healthcare research firm ... progress in developing blood collection stations and in improving ... in Kalorama Information,s report, Blood Testing Market ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: