Peer-influenced content. Sources you trust. No registration required. This is HCN.

Medical News Today (MNT)Nutrients in the Mediterranean Diet Linked to Slower Brain Aging

Nutrients in the Mediterranean Diet Linked to Slower Brain Aging and Cognitive Preservation

A recent study published in Nature Aging has identified specific nutrients within the Mediterranean diet that may be linked to slower brain aging. By examining the nutrient profiles, cognitive function, and brain imaging data of older adults, researchers have highlighted the potential of certain vitamins, fatty acids, and antioxidants in maintaining brain health and reducing cognitive decline. This study emphasizes the practical implications of dietary choices on brain health, suggesting the Mediterranean diet as a viable approach for cognitive preservation.

Key Points:

  • Study Overview
    • Published in Nature Aging.
    • Examined nutrient profiles, cognitive function, and brain imaging data.
    • Included 100 adults aged 65 to 75 with no cognitive impairment.
  • Core Findings
    • Identified a nutrient profile linked to slower brain aging.
    • Key nutrients: several fatty acids, carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin), vitamin E, and choline.
    • Higher levels of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, particularly alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
  • Methods
    • Utilized cognitive tests, MRI scans, and blood-based biomarkers.
    • Assessed 139 brain health variables, including metabolism, function, and structure.
    • Categorized participants into delayed brain aging and accelerated brain aging phenotypes.
  • Results
    • Delayed brain aging group had better cognitive function, including intelligence, executive function, and memory.
    • The beneficial nutrient profile was independent of demographic factors, BMI, and physical fitness.
    • Mediterranean diet components align with the identified nutrient profile.
  • Dietary Sources
    • Carotenoids: bell peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, carrots.
    • Vitamin E: green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds.
    • Choline: eggs, poultry, fish, cruciferous vegetables, certain beans.
    • Omega-3 fatty acids: flax meal, chia seeds, English walnuts, fatty fish (salmon, herring, sardines).
  • Implications for Practice
    • Encourage the Mediterranean diet for cognitive health benefits.
    • Monitor nutrient intake, particularly antioxidants, fatty acids, and vitamins.
    • Consider dietary counseling for older adults to enhance brain health.
  • Limitations and Future Research
    • Study was cross-sectional and cannot establish causality.
    • Limited to a small, non-diverse sample.
    • Calls for randomized controlled trials and longitudinal studies to confirm findings and understand mechanisms.

“Our research builds on prior work in several ways. First, it’s one of the largest and most comprehensive studies to use blood-based biomarkers to investigate the connection between diet and brain health.”
– Dr. Aron K. Barbey, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

More on Aging

The Healthcare Communications Network is owned and operated by IQVIA Inc.

Click below to leave this site and continue to IQVIA’s Privacy Choices form