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Brain Books 2010

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There is a new  interesting study on more diet influences on brain health.  The study called the Oregon Brain Aging Study involved 104 older adults (the average age was 87).   This group was relatively healthy with only high blood pressure and no obvious indication of heart disease risk factors or cognitive impairment.

The results showed that elderly people whose blood levels of the B vitamins that included B1, B2, B6, folate, and vitamin B12, vitamins C, D and E or omega-3 fatty acids scored better on tests of mental performance and showed healthier brains in MRI scans.  But those seniors with high levels of trans fats scored worse on the same tests and had lower brain volume.

A strength of the study was that the investigators used actual nutrient levels in the blood rather than self-reported dietary patterns from food frequency questionnaires.  These are subject to recall errors, particularly in people who may have some degree of existing cognitive decline.  Researchers cautioned, however, that the study wasn’t designed to prove cause and effect, only an association.

Bottom Line:  It pays off to stay away from trans fats, eat your vitamins from fruits and vegetables, and salmon and fish for your healthy fatty acids not only for your heart but also your brain.

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