Scientists Link These Nutrients in Food to Slower Brain Ageing

A recent study led by teams from the University of Illinois and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the US has uncovered compelling evidence linking nutrients commonly found in a Mediterranean diet to a deceleration in brain ageing.

The research highlights that certain nutrients, including various fatty acids, antioxidants, and plant pigments, may play pivotal roles in promoting healthy brain ageing. These findings are particularly promising for advancing care strategies, especially for individuals predisposed to conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.

The study involved 100 cognitively healthy participants aged 65-75, who underwent comprehensive assessments including cognitive evaluations, brain imaging, and blood analyses. Researchers identified a specific nutrient profile in the blood of participants who exhibited superior cognitive performance.

Lead study author Aron Barbey emphasized, “The present study identifies particular nutrient biomarker patterns that are promising and have favorable associations with measures of cognitive performance and brain health.”

Key beneficial nutrients identified include fatty acids such as vaccenic, gondoic, and alpha linolenic, antioxidants like cis-lutein, trans-lutein, and zeaxanthin, as well as vitamin E variants and choline. These nutrients closely mirror those typically found in the Mediterranean diet, which previous research has linked to promoting healthy brain ageing.

Dr. Barbey added, “We investigated specific nutrient biomarkers, such as fatty acid profiles, known in nutritional science to potentially offer health benefits. This aligns with the extensive body of research in the field demonstrating the positive health effects of the Mediterranean Diet.”

The study, noted for its comprehensive approach integrating brain imaging, blood biomarkers, and cognitive assessments, marks a significant stride in nutritional neuroscience. However, researchers cautioned that the study’s correlational nature does not imply a direct causative link between diet and enhanced brain ageing.

Future research aims to conduct controlled clinical trials to pinpoint which nutrients specifically enhance cognitive function and brain health. These trials will explore administering nutrients in nutraceutical form to ascertain their impact on cognitive test performance, brain structure, function, and metabolism.

“This will allow us to definitively assess whether increasing the levels of these specific nutrient profiles reliably leads to improvements in cognitive test performance and measures of brain structure, function, and metabolism,” Dr. Barbey concluded.

Exit mobile version