Thursday, December 29, 2011

What you Eat - How you think - Memory Booster

 Several popular press stories are covering the research cited at the end of this post.  The work is published in the journal Neurology.  It is a legitimate scientific study.

I think that you will get a lot from reading one of the news stories, this one for example, but let me make a few points before you go.

The scientists did a small study and they based their associations  on what people reported eating and their subsequent blood work.  Most of the time food frequency recall is fine, but people may forget some items and may list things that they think others want to hear instead of what they really ate.  
Still, the results of the study are most likely accurate, though they need to be duplicated.

The researchers found that people in the study who had certain levels of certain nutrients in their blood streams, had better brain functioning and memory outcomes.

They associated the nutrients with the intake of fruits and vegetables and the type of fat - omega 3 fatty acid - that is found in fish like salmon.  People in the study who ate more processed foods and fried foods (like burgers and fries) had worse outcomes.

The most important thing I want you to understand is this:
The results are related to FOOD - they are not about taking supplements.  When someone tries to use the study to sell you vitamins - don't be fooled.  

As January rolls around, consider eating a more plant and fish based diet.  It can be good for your waist and your brain (as long as you don't fry the veggies and add oil, fat and butter to them!)

Bowman, G.L. ND, MPH; Silbert, L.C. MD, MCR; Howieson, D. PhD; Dodge, H.H. PhD; Traber, M.G. PhD; Frei, B. PhD; Kaye, J.A. MD; Shannon, J. PhD, MPH; Quinn, J.F. MD

TitleNutrient biomarker patterns, cognitive function, and MRI measures of brain aging.

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