Study shows no evidence Mediterranean diet helps prevent cognitive decline
(Medical Xpress)—Researchers from the Sorbonne in France have published the results of a study they carried out to determine if eating a Mediterranean diet helps prevent dementia as people age. They found, as they report in their paper published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, that such a diet had no apparent impact on cognitive decline.
The Mediterranean diet, so named due to its roots in Italian, Spanish and Greek culture, is rich in whole grains, fruits, nuts and oily fish, has been the subject of much study in the past few years due to its health benefits. Thus far, it has been shown to be heart healthy and a good plan for people to follow who suffer from adult diabetes. Following such reports, there has been speculation that the diet might also help stave off dementia or even Alzheimer's as people age. The thinking was that because the diet tends to be very low in saturated fats, blood vessels in the brain wouldn't become blocked. In this new effort, the research team suggests that such claims have no merit.
To found out if people who followed the Mediterranean diet gained any cognitive defense against dementia, the researchers studied the eating habits of 3000 middle aged people over a 13 year period. As they turned 65, they were divided into three groups by how strictly they stuck with the diet and were subsequently tested using standard cognitive tests, e.g. how many words could they remember in a list, etc. The researchers report they found no differences in cognitive ability between members of the three groups, which they say shows that eating a Mediterranean diet does not slow or prevent dementia.
Emmanuelle Kesse-Guyo, lead researcher on the project, told the press that the study shows that sticking to a Mediterranean diet, at least from middle age on, won't help in preventing cognitive decline due to aging or disease. She went on to say that other studies have found similar results. Just last year, for example, a team from Foundation for Public Health, also in France, found that in testing women over the age of 65 who claimed to have been strict adherents of the diet, there were no apparent differences in cognitive decline between them and the general population.
More information: Mediterranean diet and cognitive function: a French study, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, First published January 2, 2013, doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.047993
Background: Evidence on the association between Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) adherence and cognition is presently inconsistent.
Objectives: The aims of this study were to investigate the association between midlife MedDiet adherence and cognitive performance assessed 13 y later among participants in the SU.VI.MAX (Supplementation with Vitamins and Mineral Antioxidants) study and to test the hypothesis of effect modification by occupation and education as cognitive reserve markers.
Design: A Mediterranean Diet Score (MDS) and a Mediterranean-Style Dietary Pattern Score (MSDPS) were estimated by using repeated 24-h dietary records (1994–1996) from 3083 middle-aged subjects. Cognitive performance was assessed in 2007–2009 by using 6 neuropsychological tests, and a composite score was built. Subgroup analyses were performed according to occupational and educational status. Mean differences and 95% CIs were estimated through covariance analyses.
Results: After potential confounders were accounted for, no association between MDS or MSDPS and cognitive scores was detected except for a lower phonemic fluency score with decreasing MSDPS (P = 0.048) and a lower backward digit span score with decreasing MDS (P = 0.03). In turn, a low MDS was related to a lower composite cognitive score in the small subsample of manual workers (n = 178, P-interaction = 0.04) who could be hypothesized to have low cognitive reserve. MedDiet adherence did not interact with educational level in relation to cognitive function.
Conclusion: This study did not find support for a beneficial effect of MedDiet adherence on cognitive function, irrespective of educational level, which is the strongest indicator of cognitive reserve. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00272428.
Journal reference: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
© 2013 Phys.org
- Mediterranean diet associated with lower risk of cognitive impairment Feb 09, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Can a Mediterranean diet help prevent colon cancer? Jun 13, 2007 | not rated yet | 0
- Mediterranean diet associated with slower rate of cognitive decline Jan 05, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Mediterranean diet and physical activity each associated with lower death rate over 5 years Dec 10, 2007 | not rated yet | 0
- Mediterranean diet gives longer life Dec 20, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
People eating at fast food restaurants largely underestimate the calorie content of meals, especially large ones, according to a paper published today in BMJ.
Health 10 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Don't doubt it when a woman harried by hot flashes says she's having a hard time remembering things. A new study published online in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS), helps confirm with o ...
Health 11 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
The Senate has overwhelmingly rejected an amendment allowing states to require labeling of genetically modified foods.
Health 12 hours ago | not rated yet | 1
(AP)—McDonald's once again faced criticism that it's a purveyor of junk food that markets to children at its annual shareholder meeting Thursday.
Health 12 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Can economic incentives such as gift cards, T-shirts, and time off from work motivate members of the public to increase their donations of blood?
Health 14 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
The British Menopause Society and Women's Health Concern have today released updated guidelines on Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) to provide clarity around the role of HRT, the benefits and the risks. The new guidelines ...
13 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Regulating the distribution of power in neurons is done by a system that makes the national electric grid look simple by comparison. Each neuron has several thousand mitochondria confined ...
11 hours ago | 4.8 / 5 (6) | 0 |
A brief visual task can predict IQ, according to a new study. This surprisingly simple exercise measures the brain's unconscious ability to filter out visual movement. The study shows that individuals whose ...
16 hours ago | 4.5 / 5 (10) | 1 |
Teams of highly respected Alzheimer's researchers failed to replicate what appeared to be breakthrough results for the treatment of this brain disease when they were published last year in the journal Science.
14 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 2 |
Scientists at the National Institutes of Health report they have discovered in mouse studies that a small molecule released in the spinal cord triggers a process that is later experienced in the brain as ...
14 hours ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 0 |
Little is known about why asthma develops, how it constricts the airway or why response to treatments varies between patients. Now, a team of researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College, Columbia University Medical Center ...
15 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |