The way the body handles alcohol can transform with age. Find out more about alcohol and older adults. Some, however, not all, observational studies-those where folks are observed or certain outcomes are measured, without treatment-have proven that the Mediterranean diet is connected with a lesser risk for dementia.
These studies compared cognitively normal individuals who ate a Mediterranean diet with those that ate a Western-style diet, which contains more red meat, fats, and sugar. Not all studies have proven a link between eating well and a boost in cognition.
For more information, scientists supported by NIA and other organizations are conducting clinical trials-considered the gold standard of medical proof-to shed more light on any cause and effect.
See a set of trials that are recruiting participants by the end of this article. This mainly plant-based diet has been proven to improve cardiovascular health, which may, subsequently, reduce dementia risk. On the other hand, the normal Western diet increases coronary disease risk, possibly adding to faster brain aging.
In addition, the dietary plan may increase specific nutrients that may protect the mind through anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. For example: In a single observational study of cognitively normal adults, those that followed a Mediterranean diet had thicker cortical brain regions than those that did not. In an identical study, following MIND diet was connected with a considerable slowing of cognitive decline during typically almost 5 years.
Many foods-blueberries, leafy greens, and curcumin within the spice turmericto name a few-have been studied because of their potential cognitive benefit. These food types were considered to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, or other properties that may help protect the mind.
But scientists continue steadily to look for clues. HOW ABOUT Supplements and Vitamins? Despite early findings of possible benefits for brain health, no supplement or vitamin has been tested to work in people. Overall, evidence is weak as much studies were small or too short to be conclusive too. Take DHA docosahexaenoic acid for instance.
However, clinical trials in humans experienced mixed results. In a scholarly study of older adults with age-related cognitive decline, those that took DHA for 24 weeks showed improved learning and memory daily, compared to those that took a placebo.
Another study of 4, older adults -conducted to study eye disease-concluded that taking omega-3 supplements primarily, or with other supplements alone, didn’t slow cognitive decline. Although available from drugstores and on the web widely, several have not been tested because of their effects on thinking.
Their safety and effectiveness are unknown largely, and they might connect to other medications. Note: A deficiency in vitamin B12 or folate could cause memory problems, which are reversible with medicine. Drug and Food Administration. The Connection Between your Digestive System and the mind Researchers are learning the way the biochemical processes of diet and digestion connect to changes in the mind.
Aside from the Mediterranean diet and its own variations, they are considering other diets in addition to individual nutrients and foods. For instance, the ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that prompts the production of ketones, chemicals that help brain cells work.
Studies show that diet might affect gut bacteria in distinctive ways in people who have and without cognitive impairment, and could help brain cells better use energy, enhancing their overall function. Researchers would like answers to these questions: Which foods are critical to brain health insurance and should be contained in diet-based interventions? Which groups of individuals are likely to reap the benefits of dietary interventions targeting prevention of dementia and cognitive decline? Do dietary interventions have a larger effect if begun in midlife?
These clinical trials are recruiting participants to check dietary interventions: Enhanced Mediterranean Diet for Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention -Cognitively normal adults age 65 and older in Kansas City, KS, are randomly assigned to the Mediterranean diet or a low-fat diet to measure the effect on cognitive function, brain volume, and other measures.
Mediterranean Diet, Weight Loss and Cognition in Obese Older Adults -This Chicago study will test the consequences of a Mediterranean diet, with and without caloric restriction, to market weight loss and improve cognitive function in obese older adults. Multicultural NUTRITIOUS DIET to lessen Cognitive Decline -This month trial will investigate whether an anti-inflammatory diet tailored to a multicultural population in Bronx, NY, can improve cognitive functioning.
ADEAR Center staff answer telephone, email, and written requests and make referrals to national and local resources. Alzheimer’s Association.