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Diet role in elderly brain health

Thursday January 5th, 2017

Elderly people may make a big contribution to their brain health by eating a healthy diet, according to a Scottish study.

The findings come from a study of the so-called Mediterranean diet, linking consumption to MRI brain scans, reported last night.

Researchers found that a diet high in vegetables and pulses retained more brain volume than those who failed to comply with the diet.

But there was little evidence that consuming fish - thought to be a key part of the Mediterranean diet - made much difference.

Some 967 people signed up to the study at the age of 70. Out of these 562 underwent brain scans at the age of 73 - and 401 underwent further scans at 76.

Researcher Dr Michelle Luciano, of Edinburgh University, reported that differences in diet explained 0.5% of the variation in total brain volume.

However there was no link between diet and grey matter volume or cortical thickness, Dr Luciano reported in the journal Neurology.

Dr Luciano said: “In our study, eating habits were measured before brain volume was, which suggests that the diet may be able to provide long-term protection to the brain.

“Still, larger studies are needed to confirm these results.”

She added: “This study adds to the body of evidence that suggests the Mediterranean diet has a positive impact on brain health.”

Neurology 4 January 2016

Tags: Brain & Neurology | Diet & Food | Elderly Health | UK News

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