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Posts tagged ‘cognition’

Keep Your Brain Sharp with Flavonoids From Fruits & Vegetables

Fresh vegetables are important components of a...

Fresh vegetables are important components of a healthy diet. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Optimizing dietary intake

with naturally-derived flavonoids

is good for your brain health…

Eating a healthy, nutritious diet especially rich in flavonoids (nutrients found in abundance in certain fruits and vegetables, as well as in coffee, tea and dark chocolate) could help keep your brain sharp as you get older.
Researchers from Institut National de la Santé Et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM)  France and the Université Victor Segalen Bordeaux 2 report that people who ate foods naturally high in flavonoids performed significantly better on cognitive tests than those who reported low intakes of the nutrients.
Known as the PAQUID (Personnes Agées Quid) study, 1,640 subjects, (average age 77) and free of dementia at the start, were given food-frequency questionnaires that analyzed their dietary intakes of flavonoids. A range of
assessment tools also were administered to measure the subjects’ cognitive function. Subjects were then tested four times over the next 10 years.
Reporting in American Journal of Epidemiology, the researchers reported that subjects with the highest flavonoid intakes (between 13.6 and 36.9 milligrams per day) were found to have better cognitive function than those with the
lowest intakes. And those who consumed the most flavonoids maintained their cognitive superiority after 10 years of follow-up; Subjects with the lowest intakes lost an average of 2.1 points on the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) while subjects with the highest intakes lost only 1.2 points.
Cognitive performance declines naturally with age, but the results of the study suggest that this decline could be slowed by increased intake of key flavonoids in the diet.
Not surprisingly, flavonoids have been receiving interest in recent years; A mounting body of scientific evidence: both epidemiological and laboratory-based studies linking a number of key flavonoids with lower risk for some cancers.
A regular diet high in fruits and vegetables is worth following for other health benefits, as well…
“We know that a diet high in flavonoids is also a diet high in fruits and vegetables. In these foods you also find antioxidant vitamins, fiber and other nutrients that may be beneficial to keep in good health,” the team of scientists explained. “This kind of diet is also associated with less morbidity resulting from cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes. Therefore, to keep in good health, rather than focusing on a specific nutrient, it would more beneficial to adopt a diet with more fruits and vegetables, more fish; Less saturated fat, less salt, less processed foods.
“Only randomized trials would give a confirmation, ” they continued, “but it would be long and expensive, whereas we already know that ‘healthy’ dietary patterns are more likely to be beneficial for health.”
Journal Reference: American Journal of Epidemiology

This article is for informational and educational

purposes only;  It is not intended to provide
medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Consult your doctor or healthcare professional.
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Maintainin​g Normal Weight and Other Key Health Factors Affect Brain Function

A diet rich in soy and whey protein, found in ...

A diet rich in soy and whey protein, found in products such as soy milk and low-fat yogurt, has been shown to reduce breast cancer incidence in rats. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nutritious dietary intake and maintaining

healthy weight is good for your brain…

Eating a healthy diet and maintaining a normal weight helps protect your brain, according to a 10-year study of 6,401 British civil servants.

Participants in the study (initially ages 39-63) were less likely to have impaired cognitive function if they were not overweight or obese.

Those with multiple markers of “metabolic abnormality” were more likely to suffer impaired cognitive function; these markers included high cholesterol or triglycerides, high blood pressure, low HDL (good) cholesterol, high glucose levels or diabetes.

In followup mental testing at the 5 and 10-year points, those who were both obese and “metabolically abnormal” were significantly more likely to show a faster rate of cognitive decline.

Researchers speculated that vascular problems associated with unhealthy weight might affect brain function, along with specific fat-related secretions that impact the aging brain.

Journal Reference: Neurology
This article is for informational and educational purposes only;  It is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult your doctor or healthcare professional.

Positive Impact Of Omega 3 Fish Oil On Cognitive Functionin​g

Demonstrates Ability To Improve Cognitive Functioning, Memory and Health Of The Brain

Research Scientists Studied Supplementation With Omega 3-Rich  Fish Oil Capsules…

Researchers at Rhode Island Hospital’s Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center have found crucial positive associations between Omega 3 fish oil supplements and cognitive functioning as well as differences in brain structure between users and non-users of fish oil supplements.

The findings suggest possible benefits of fish oil supplements on brain health and aging.

The results were reported at the recent International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease, in Paris, France.

The study was conducted by research scientists at the Rhode Island Hospital Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center. Data for the analyses was obtained from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), a large multi-center, NIH-funded study that followed older adults with normal cognition, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer’s Disease for over three years with periodic memory testing and brain MRIs.

The study included 819 individuals, 117 of whom reported regular use of Omega 3 fish oil supplements before entry and during study follow-up. The researchers compared cognitive functioning and brain atrophy for patients who reported regularly using these supplements to those who were not using fish oil supplements.

Compared to non-users, use of fish oil supplements was associated with better cognitive functioning during the study. However, this association was significant only in those individuals who had a normal baseline cognitive function and in individuals who tested negative for a genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s Disease known as “APOE4” consistent with previous research.

The key finding is that there was a clear association between fish oil supplements and brain volume. Consistent with the cognitive outcomes, these observations were significant only for those who were “APOE4” negative.

The researchers report “In the imaging analyses for the entire study population, we found a significant positive association between fish oil supplement use and average brain volumes in two critical areas utilized in memory and thinking (cerebral cortex and hippo-campus), as well as smaller brain ventricular volumes compared to non-users at any given time in the study. In other words, fish oil use was associated with less brain shrinkage in patients taking these supplements during the ADNI study compared to those who didn’t report using them.”

The researchers conclude, “These observations should motivate further study of the possible effects of long-term fish oil supplementation on important markers of cognitive decline and the potential influence of genetics on these outcomes.”

The team included researchers from The Miriam Hospital and the Brown University Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior (Gonvatana and Cohen), and Department of Behavior and Social Sciences (Dunsiger).

Rhode Island Hospital, a member hospital of the Lifespan health system in Rhode Island

Story Source:
Lifespan (2011, August 17). Fish oil’s impact on cognition and brain structure identified in new study.

 

This article is for informational and  educational purposes only, and is not intended to provide medical  advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult with your doctor or healthcare  professional for medical and nutrition advice.

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