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Seniors with type 2 diabetes may experience memory declines immediately after eating unhealthy meal
Date:6/25/2008

Toronto, CANADA Adults with type 2 diabetes who eat unhealthy, high-fat meals may experience memory declines immediately afterward, but this can be offset by taking antioxidant vitamins with the meal, according to new research from Baycrest.

There is already growing evidence linking diabetes to cognitive complications in humans. Adults with type 2 diabetes are especially vulnerable to acute meal-induced memory deficits after eating unhealthy foods.

This latest study, led by Baycrest and published in the July issue of Nutrition Research, suggests that taking high doses of antioxidant vitamins C and E with the meal may help minimize those memory slumps.

"Our bottom line is that consuming unhealthy meals for those with diabetes can temporarily further worsen already underlying memory problems associated with the disease,"said lead author Michael Herman Chui, who conducted the research as a University of Toronto pathobiology undergraduate in the Kunin-Lunenfeld Applied Research Unit (KLARU) at Baycrest. "We've shown that antioxidant vitamins can minimize oxidative stress from the meal and reduce those immediate memory deficits."

Type 2 diabetes is associated with chronic oxidative stress, a major contributor to cognitive decline and Alzheimer disease. Consuming unhealthy foods can induce this type of stress which is triggered by acute elevations of free radicals unstable molecules that can damage tissue, including brain tissue. These destructive molecule reactions typically occur over a one-to-three hour period after food ingestion.

Dr. Carol Greenwood, senior author of the study and a nationally recognized expert in how diet impacts brain function, cautioned that relying on antioxidant vitamins at meal time is not a quick fix. "While our study looked at the pill form of antioxidants, we would ultimately want individuals to consume healthier foods high in antioxidants, like fruits and vegetables," said Dr. G
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Contact: Kelly Connelly
kconnelly@baycrest.org
416-785-2432
Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care
Source:Eurekalert

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