A recent paper published on the issue of Neurology has revealed that elderly people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease are less likely to have brain shrinkage if they include certain vital nutrients in their diets. Dr Gene Bowman from the Departments of Neurology and Public Health and Preventive Medicine atOregonHealth & ScienceUniversityinPortlandalong with an expert from theAmericanAcademyof Neurology conducted this research.
This for the first time that a study is has been conducted to examine the links between memory, thinking, brain volume and diet since previously researches have analyzed one or two nutrients at a time or have used data from diet questionnaires. About 104 elderly people who had risks for impaired memory and thinking were examined. 42 of them underwent MRI scan while all of them completed memory and thinking tests. The study avowed some new facts which included that a diet rich in various vitamins or omega 3 fatty acids when served to the elderly people helped them to evade brain wither caused by Alzheimer in comparison to the people who do not have such a diet. Also omega 3 fatty acid as well as vitamins C, D, E and B helped to get a better score in tests of mental ability.
Most of the participants were having healthy diet but 25% lacked in vitamin D while 7% were poor in vitamin B12. For brain volume 37% variation was a result of varying nutrition level while it accounted for 17% of the variation in thinking and memory tests. 46% variation was on account of blood pressure, age factor and number of years of education. Dr Gene Bowman claimed, “These results need to be confirmed, but obviously it is very exciting to think that people could potentially stop their brains from shrinking and keep them sharp by adjusting their diet.”
The intake of omega 3 fatty acids also known as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) by human body is poor. However, fish, some plants and nut oils are a good source of it. Excluding vitamin B12 which although found in fortified breakfast cereals, mainly comes from animal products, vitamins B and antioxidants C and E are chiefly found in fruits and vegetables. Trans fats found mainly in fast, fried, packaged and frozen food if included in diet most of the time results in brain shrinkage in old age.