Diet may affect cognitive impairment in older adults

Researchers in Korea recently published a study in Clinical Nutrition Research, showing a connection between what older adults eat and their cognitive function.

The researchers split the nearly 250 participants (who were between the ages of 50 and 90 years) into two groups: one with mild cognitive impairment and one without. Participants were assigned to one of the groups depending on performance in 4 tests: verbal memory, visual memory, reasoning, and shift attention. They also analyzed nutritional intake of both groups.

What the researchers discovered was that the group with mild cognitive impairment consumed:

  • Less sweet potato
  • Less mackerel
  • More salted fish
  • Less fruit (mandarin orange, persimmon, apple)
  • More ice cream

Regarding specific nutrients, the group with mild cognitive impairment consumed:

  • Less N-3 fatty acids
  • Less N-6 fatty acids
  • Less monounsaturated fatty acids
  • Less biotin
  • Less vitamin D
  • Less vitamin C
  • Less magneisum

The researchers concluded that “nutritional intake . . . is related to cognitive function.”

This is one more study in a growing body of research showing a connection between what we eat and our mental health. Here at Truehope, we’ve been promoting nutrition as mental health treatment for over 25 years.