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Diet Linked To Cognitive Decline And Dementia

Research has shown convincing evidence that dietary patterns practiced during adulthood are important contributors to age-related cognitive decline and dementia risk. An article published in Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences highlights information on the benefits of diets high in fruit, vegetables, cereals and fish and low in saturated fats in reducing dementia risk.

An article published in Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences highlights information on the benefits of diets high in fruit, vegetables, cereals and fish and low in saturated fats in reducing dementia risk. (Credit: iStockphoto/Gabor Izso)

Adults with diabetes are especially sensitive to the foods they eat with respect to cognitive function. Specifically, an adult with diabetes will experience a decline in memory function after a meal, especially if simple carbohydrate foods are consumed. While the precise physiological mechanisms underlying these dietary influences are not completely understood, the modulation of brain insulin levels likely contributes.

This deficit can be prevented through healthful food choices at meals. The findings suggest that weight maintenance reduces the risk of developing obesity-associated disorders, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and is an important component of preserving cognitive health.

The work shows another benefit of maintaining healthful eating practices with aging – the same ones proposed by most diabetes and heart & stroke foundations. “This type of information should be able to empower the individual, knowing that he/she can be actively engaged in activities and lifestyles that should support cognitive health with aging,” says Carol Greenwood, author of the study.

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2007 Nov;1114:389-97.!– var Menu17986600 = [ [“UseLocalConfig”, “jsmenu3Config”, “”, “”], [“LinkOut”, “window.top.location=’http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Cmd=ShowLinkOut&Db=pubmed&TermToSearch=17986600&ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlus’ “, “”, “”] ] –>

Dietary influences on cognitive function with aging: from high-fat diets to healthful eating.

Parrott MD, Greenwood CE.

Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 3E2. carol.greenwood@utoronto.ca.

Human epidemiologic studies provide convincing evidence that dietary patterns practiced during adulthood are important contributors to age-related cognitive decline and dementia risk. Diets high in fat, especially trans and saturated fats, adversely affect cognition, while those high in fruits, vegetables, cereals, and fish are associated with better cognitive function and lower risk of dementia. While the precise physiologic mechanisms underlying these dietary influences are not completely understood, modulation of brain insulin activity and neuroinflammation likely contribute. Not surprisingly, deficits in cognitive functions, especially those dependent on the medial temporal lobes, are apparent in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Special care in food selection at meals should be exercised by those with T2DM since ingestion of rapidly absorbed, high-glycemic index carbohydrate foods further impairs medial temporal lobe function, with food-induced increases in oxidative stress and cytokine release likely explaining the association between food ingestion and reduction in cognitive function in those with T2DM.

Written by huehueteotl

November 13, 2007 at 10:09 am

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