Navigation Links
Vitamins, Omega-3s May Keep Brain From Shrinking: Study
Date:12/28/2011

By Jenifer Goodwin
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Older adults with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins B, C, D and E in their blood performed better on certain measures of thinking abilities, and also tended to have larger brain volume, a new study finds.

Seniors with high levels of trans fats in their blood fared worse on certain thinking tests than those with lower levels of the unhealthy fats, and also had more brain shrinkage.

Researchers said the findings suggest that nutrients work "in synergy" with one another to be protective of brain health.

"For people with a vitamin profile high in B, C, D, E, those particular nutrients seem to be working together on some level," said lead study author Gene Bowman, an assistant professor in the department of neurology at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. "Having high scores for those vitamins was associated with better cognitive function and larger brain volume."

The study is published in the Dec. 28 online edition and the Jan. 24 print issue of the journal Neurology.

In the study, researchers measured levels of more than 30 nutrients in the blood of 104 people with an average age of 87. Overall, participants were well-educated, healthy nonsmokers who had relatively few chronic diseases and were free of memory and thinking problems. Researchers also did MRI scans of 42 participants to measure their brain volume.

Some amount of brain atrophy, or shrinkage, occurs with aging. More significant shrinkage is associated with mental decline and Alzheimer's disease.

The investigators found that the various nutrients seemed to affect different aspects of thinking, suggesting that they work on different pathways in the brain.

People with high levels of vitamins B, C, D and E performed better on tests of executive function and attention, and had better visuospatial skills and global cognitive function. They also had bigger brains, the study authors noted.

Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in foods such as salmon, were associated with better executive function and with fewer changes to the white matter of the brain, but there was no association between omega-3s and any of the other measures of mental abilities.

"Executive function" is a term used to describe higher level thinking involving planning, attention and problem solving. In this case, seniors were asked to do an exercise that involved matching the number 1 with the letter A, the number 2 with B, and so on, which shows flexibility in thought, Bowman explained.

White matter changes can be indicative of damage to the small blood vessels of the brain, he said.

The people with high levels of trans fats performed worse on tests of mental abilities and had smaller brains, according to the report.

Dr. Marc Gordon, chief of neurology at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, N.Y., said the study is "intriguing." While most studies ask people to recall what they ate, in this one, researchers actually measured what participants had absorbed by using blood biomarkers.

"Two issues make this approach more valid," said Gordon, also an Alzheimer's researcher at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, N.Y. "One could be the unreliability of people's recollections about what they ate, and the other is that just because someone ate something doesn't mean they absorbed it."

However, he said, the group studied was unique in that they were unusually healthy for their age. The results might be different in a less healthy group of seniors. Prior research, for example, looked at giving people with Alzheimer's omega-3 fatty acid supplements and found it didn't help.

The researchers noted that because their study was observational, meaning they found an association between certain nutrients and brain characteristics rather than showing cause-and-effect, it's too soon to tell everyone to start taking a vitamin containing B, C, D and E.

In addition, another variable is that older people who eat lots of foods containing those nutrients may have difficulty absorbing them.

Even so, the study suggests it makes good sense to limit trans fats, which are often found in fried foods, doughnuts, pastries, pizza dough, cookies, crackers and stick margarines and shortenings, and to eat lots of fruits, vegetables and fatty fish.

"The question is: Do people need to eat healthier foods, or do they need to stay away from unhealthy foods? It looks like you need to do both. Eat more healthy foods and stay away from unhealthy foods," Bowman said.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Aging has more on eating a nutritious diet as you age.

SOURCES: Gene Bowman, N.D., M.P.H., assistant professor, department of neurology, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Ore.; Marc Gordon, M.D., chief, neurology, Zucker Hillside Hospital, Glen Oaks, N.Y., Alzheimer's researcher, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Manhasset, N.Y.; Dec. 28, 2011, Neurology, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Nature's Aide Vitamins, Inc. Announces a New Science Driven Osteo-Guard Vitamin Formula Designed to Quickly and Safely Halt Bone Deterioration
2. Publix Pharmacy Now Offers Pill Glide, an Innovative New Way for Children and Adults to Take Vitamins, Supplements and Medications
3. Salmon baby food? Babies need omega-3s and a taste for fish, scientist says
4. Certain Formulations of Omega-3s Might Help With Depression
5. Vegans elevated heart risk requires omega-3s and B12
6. Vegans elevated heart risk requires omega-3s and B12
7. Heart-Healthy Omega-3s Not Healthy for Prostate: Study
8. Gadgets not related to teenagers brain pain
9. Dementia Rates Escalate as Brain Capacity Diminishes with Age
10. Researchers discover new way to kill pediatric brain tumors
11. Scientists Pinpoint Area of Brain That Fears Losing Money
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Vitamins, Omega-3s May Keep Brain From Shrinking: Study
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Apple ... care services, staged a mock evacuation of the facility as part of a disaster ... Fire Department, Echo Hose EMS and Shelton City Emergency Manager, as well as the ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Global Healthcare Management’s ... Alexandria Park in Milford, NJ. This free event, sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s ... The fun run is geared towards children of all ages; it is a ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... “The Journey: From the ... danger possible to save lost souls in the Philippines. “The Journey: From the Mountains ... a dedicated teacher of the Bible. She has taught all ages and currently teaches ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Planet Fitness, one of the largest and ... plans to open a flagship location in Covington, LA at 401 N. U.S. Highway ... store next to Office Depot in the Holiday Square shopping center. Its location allows ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Asante, a nationally recognized health system in ... existing home health joint venture through an agreement, effective October 1, 2017, to ... home health company with Asante, delivering clinically integrated care, for the past eight ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... -- NDS received FDA 510(k) clearance in May 2017 for its highly ... designed for endoscopy environments. An innovative secondary monitor solution, ZeroWire ... support the improvement of patient outcomes, procedural efficiency, and the lowering ... ... ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... 4, 2017  South Korean-based healthcare product Development Company ... "cprCUBE" on Kickstarter. The device will educate the user ... with better efficiency compared to the dated and pricey ... on efficacy of the compression for a more informed ... goal to raise $5,000. ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... 2017  Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: ... third quarter of 2017 on Tuesday, October 24, 2017. ... day with the investment community and media to further ... call will begin at 9 a.m. Eastern time. Investors, ... webcast of the conference call through a link that ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: