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Diet - dementia connection


There may be a diet connection with brain health. For elderly people who have diets high in several vitamins and omega 3 fatty acids their results on mental acuity tests are higher and their brain shrinkage less than those elderly individuals with the opposite kind of diet and/or with Alzheimer’s disease.

This new research specifically measures a range of blood nutrients levels instead of imprecise data like a food questionnaire. They found positive associations with vitamins B, C, D, E and healthy fish oil or omega 3 fatty acids.

“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 of the study published in Neurology. “The vitamins and nutrients you get from eating a wide range of fruits, vegetables and fish can be measured in blood biomarkers. I’m a firm believer these nutrients have strong potential to protect your brain and make it work better.”

The study tested over 100 people, average age 87 with no special risk factors for cognitive impairment. They tested 30 different nutrient biomarkers in their blood and scanned the brains of about half the group.

The most favorable, healthful results came from people with diets high in marine fatty acids and vitamins B, C, D and E. The worst results came from people who ate trans-fats and other less-healthy food choices.

“These finding s are based on average people eating average American diets,” Traber emphasized. “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.”

Source: MedicalNewsToday, Neurology

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