`Following MedDiet Linked to Healthier Brain Activity - Olive Oil Times

Following MedDiet Linked to Healthier Brain Activity

By Paolo DeAndreis
Sep. 29, 2022 18:47 UTC

Adhering to the Mediterranean diet may pro­mote cog­ni­tive func­tions over time, accord­ing to a new study.

Researchers linked the impact of blood lev­els of six plasma metabo­lites to some essen­tial brain activ­i­ties. They found that the most pro­tec­tive level of such metabo­lites is asso­ci­ated with the MedDiet.

We iden­ti­fied a few metabo­lites… in the blood the lev­els of which are cor­re­lated with cog­ni­tive func­tion, and they are all related to diet- Tamar Sofer, bio­sta­tis­ti­cal researcher, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Metabolites are small inter­me­di­at­ing mol­e­cules pro­duced by the human metab­o­lism. Their lev­els can change con­sid­er­ably across indi­vid­u­als.

According to the Human Metabolome Project, the human body relies on more than 4,000 metabo­lites. Several global research projects are work­ing on map­ping the com­bi­na­tions and impacts of these metabo­lites.

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The study, pub­lished by the sci­en­tific jour­nal of the United States Alzheimer’s Association, built on the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of six metabo­lites known to lower cog­ni­tive func­tions and demon­strated that their impacts are gen­er­al­ized across diverse races and eth­nic­i­ties.

The sci­en­tists explained that they tested metabo­lite-cog­ni­tive func­tion asso­ci­a­tion in American Hispanic/Latino and European and African American adults. Thousands of indi­vid­u­als whose pro­files come from lon­gi­tu­di­nal stud­ies were used for the research.

We applied Mendelian Randomization (MR) analy­ses to assess causal asso­ci­a­tions between the metabo­lites and cog­ni­tive func­tion and between the Mediterranean diet and cog­ni­tive func­tion,” they wrote.

The authors, who belong to sev­eral U.S. research insti­tu­tions, said their find­ings sug­gest a poten­tial impact of dietary habits on the level of such metabo­lites. The amount of metabo­lites and their effect on brain per­for­mance show the rel­e­vance of fol­low­ing a healthy diet.

We iden­ti­fied a few metabo­lites… in the blood the lev­els of which are cor­re­lated with cog­ni­tive func­tion, and they are all related to diet,” Tamar Sofer, a bio­sta­tis­ti­cal researcher at Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvard University and researcher on the study, told Medical News Today.

While there are clin­i­cal tri­als show­ing that diet can influ­ence cog­ni­tive func­tion, iden­ti­fy­ing spe­cific metabo­lites can help iden­tify spe­cific mech­a­nisms, spe­cific com­po­nents of diet that are more impor­tant than oth­ers, and bio­mark­ers to mea­sure [the] suc­cess of dietary changes,” she added.

Sofer warned that such results must be con­sid­ered a first glance into those asso­ci­a­tions. There is still work to do to make these steps hap­pen, but this is a good start, espe­cially because the results held up in a few dif­fer­ent stud­ies, so the find­ings are very reli­able,” she said.

Over the past 20 years, hun­dreds of researchers have stud­ied the health ben­e­fits of fol­low­ing and adopt­ing the Mediterranean diet. Its anti-inflam­ma­tory prop­er­ties are attrib­uted to var­i­ous cog­ni­tive and other health ben­e­fits.

The health ben­e­fits of the Mediterranean diet are so sub­stan­tial that the American Society for Nutrition esti­mated in 2018 that if only 20 per­cent of the U.S. pop­u­la­tion chose to adopt it, the coun­try would save more than $20 bil­lion per year.


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