Older people who consume a diet high in carbohydrates and sugar may have a higher risk of cognitive impairment, according to a study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s disease.
Mayo Clinic researchers tracked 1,230 people between 70 and 89 years of age who described what they ate and whose cognitive function was evaluated by physicians, nurses and neuropsychologists. About 940 of them who showed no signs of cognitive impairment were asked to return for follow-up evaluations. About four years into the study, 200 of those 940 were showing mild cognitive impairment — problems with memory, language, thinking and judgment greater than normal age-related changes.
Those who reported the highest carbohydrate intake at the beginning of the study were 1.9 times likelier to develop mild cognitive impairment than those with the lowest intake of carbohydrates. Participants with the highest sugar intake were 1.5 times likelier to experience mild cognitive impairment than those with the lowest levels.
Those whose diets were highest in fat, compared to the lowest, were 42 percent less likely to face cognitive impairment. Those who had the highest intake of protein had a reduced risk of 21 percent.
Source: The Mayo Clinic
— Anne Aurand, The Bulletin