Nutrition Health Review

FALL 2017

Nutrition Health Review provides consumers updates on the latest medical research, news, trends, and products in nutrition and healthy living.

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11 Fall 2017 • Volume 117 parƟally conƟngent on the nutriƟon that we obtain from food. The Alzheimer's Research and PrevenƟon FoundaƟon provides several dietary recommendaƟons aimed at improving brain health and prevenƟng Alzheimer's. 7 The foundaƟon suggests limiƟng the consumpƟon of saturated and trans fats, which have been shown to increase inflammaƟon within the body and produce free radicals, known to damage brain cells. In addiƟon, they recommend consuming foods high in vitamins C and E as a way to eliminate these excess free radicals. The guidelines also recommend a diet high in fruits, veggies, and omega-3-rich fish, such as salmon. Specific foods the foundaƟon recommends for brain health include blueberries, spinach, and seaweed, all valued for their anƟoxidant properƟes. Not sure of how much of each food group to eat? Aim for healthy fats such as olive oil, hemp seeds, and avocados to comprise 20 percent of your diet; lean proteins should make up about 40 percent of your diet (think fish, chicken, and turkey); and 40 percent of your diet should consist of complex carbohydrates such as whole grain bread, a variety of fresh veggies, and beans. 7 This diet recommendaƟon might sound familiar; lean proteins (especially fish), ample healthy fats, and plenty of fresh vegetables are all common characterisƟcs of the Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet is recommended for weight loss and a healthy heart, but this diet is also great for preserving and protecƟng cogniƟve funcƟon as we age. In an ongoing longitudinal invesƟgaƟon of the Greek populaƟon, 8 adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with beƩer performance on cogniƟve tests, including tests for memory, language, and visuospaƟal percepƟon. The associaƟons were strongest for memory. In addiƟon, this study concluded that fish consumpƟon decreased the chance of developing demenƟa and the consumpƟon of non-refined cereals, such as oatmeal, had a posiƟve effect on cogniƟve performance. 8 Further, another study 9 established a connecƟon between low intake of other meats (pork, beef, and chicken) in favor of higher fish intake in the Mediterranean diet as a way to preserve cogniƟve funcƟon and prevent brain atrophy. 9 In addiƟon to making sure you're eaƟng your daily allotment of faƩy fish and fresh veggies, make sure you're drinking your wine. You read that right —there are mulƟple studies that suggest light-to-moderate drinking (1–2 drinks per day) is significantly associated with a lower risk of any demenƟa. 10 Specifically, older adults who chose wine over other alcoholic beverages saw a larger total brain volume compared to those who chose beer or liquor. 11 SOURCES 1. Kandola A, et al. Aerobic exercise as a tool to improve hippocampal plasƟcity and funcƟon in humans: pracƟcal implicaƟons for mental health treatment. Front Hum Neurosci. 2016 Jul 29;10:373. 2. Sobol NA, et al. Effect of aerobic exercise on physical performance in paƟents with Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's Dement. 2016 Dec;12(12):1207–1215. 3. Dougherty RJ. MeeƟng physical acƟvity recommendaƟons may be protecƟve against temporal lobe atrophy in older adults at risk for Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's Dement (Amst). 2016 Apr 9;4:14–7. 4. Hoffman K, et al. Moderate-to-high intensity physical exercise in paƟents with Alzheimer's disease: a randomized controlled trial. J Alzheimer's Dis. 2016;50(2):443–53. 5. Guerra SY, et al. [Exercise and Alzheimer's: the body as a whole]. Revista Andaluza de Medicina del Deporte. 2017;10(3):120–124. 6. Kim MJ, et al. Physical exercise with mulƟcomponent cogniƟve intervenƟon for older adults with Alzheimer's disease: a 6-month randomized controlled trial. Dement Geriatr Cogn Dis Extra. 2016 Jun 10;6(2):222–32. 7. Pillar 1: Diets and Supplements. 2017. Alzheimer's Research and PrevenƟon FoundaƟon. hƩp://alzheimersprevenƟ pillars-of-prevenƟon/pillar-1-diet-supplements/. Accessed Dec 13 2017. 8. Anastasiou CA, et al. Mediterranean diet and cogniƟve health: IniƟal results from the Hellenic Longitudinal InvesƟgaƟon of Ageing and Diet. PLoS One. 2017 Aug 1;12(8):e0182048. 9. Gu Y, et al. Mediterranean diet and brain structure in a mulƟethnic elderly cohort. Neurology. 2015 Nov 17;85(20):1744–51. 10. LeƩenneur L. Risk of demenƟa and alcohol and wine consumpƟon: a review of recent results. Biol Res. 2004;37(2):189–93. 11. Gu Y, et al. Alcohol intake and brain structure in a mulƟethnic elderly cohort. Clin Nutr. 2014 Aug;33(4):662–7. CogniƟve SƟmulaƟon Therapy for the Treatment of Alzheimer's T here is consistent evidence from mulƟple studies that support the benefit of cogniƟve sƟmulaƟon programs for beƩer cogniƟon in people with mild-to- moderate Alzheimer's. For example, a recent clinical trial showed that people with moderate Alzheimer's who underwent seven weeks of cogniƟve sƟmulaƟon therapy showed beƩer cogniƟve funcƟon on several cogniƟve measurement scales. 1 In another study, a group of paƟents with Alzheimer's used a specially designed, rehabilitaƟve computer program three Ɵmes weekly for 12 weeks. This group showed significant improvement in memory, aƩenƟon, execuƟve funcƟon, and language skills aŌer 12 weeks, and their achievements remained stable aŌer six months. 2 Sources: 1) Capotosto E, et al. CogniƟve sƟmulaƟon therapy in the Italian context: its efficacy in cogniƟve and non-cogniƟve measures in older adults with demenƟa. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2017 Mar;32(3):331–340; 2) Cavallo M, et al. Computerized Structured CogniƟve Training in PaƟents Affected by Early-Stage Alzheimer's Disease is Feasible and EffecƟve: A Randomized Controlled Study. Arch Clin Neuropsychol. 2016 Sep 6.

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