Diet patterns may keep brain from shrinking

December 29th, 2011 - 7:49 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Dec 29 (IANS) People whose diets are rich in vitamins and omega 3 fatty acids are less likely to have brain shrinkage associated with Alzheimer’s disease, say experts.

Those whose diet is usually high in omega 3 fatty acids and vitamins C, D, E and B also had higher scores on mental thinking tests than people with diets low in those nutrients, Xinhua reported quoting the study in the online issue of Neurology.

Omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin D are primarily found in fish. The B vitamins and antioxidants C and E are primarily found in fruits and vegetables.

In another finding, the study showed that people with diets high in trans fats were more likely to have brain shrinkage and lower scores on the thinking and memory tests than people with diets low in trans fats.

Trans fats are primarily found in packaged, fast, fried and frozen food, baked goods and margarine spreads.

The study involved 104 people with an average age of 87.

Blood tests were used to determine the levels of various nutrients present in the blood of each participant.

All of the participants also took tests of their memory and thinking skills. Of the total participants, 42 had MRI scans to measure their brain volume. Overall, the participants had good nutritional status, but seven percent were deficient in vitamin B12 and 25 percent were deficient in vitamin D.

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