Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Memory games: Eating well to remember

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Date:
February 18, 2020
Source:
University of Technology Sydney

Summary:
A healthy diet is essential to living well, but should we change what we eat as we age? Researchers have found strong evidence of the link between food groups and memory loss and its comorbidities. Her findings point to a need for age-specific dietary guidelines as the links may vary with age -- people aged 80+ with a low consumption of cereals are at highest risk of memory loss and comorbid heart disease.
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A healthy diet is essential to living well, but as we age, should we change what we eat?

Learn about your amazing brain!


UTS research fellow Dr Luna Xu has studied data from 139,000 older Australians and found strong links between certain food groups, memory loss and comorbid heart disease or diabetes.

Dr. Xu found high consumption of fruit and vegetables was linked to lowered odds of memory loss and its comorbid heart disease. High consumption of protein-rich foods was associated with a better memory.

Dr Xu also found the link between food group and memory status may vary among different older age groups. People aged 80 years and over with a low consumption of cereals are at the highest risk of memory loss and its comorbid heart disease, her research showed.

"Our present study implies that the healthy eating suggestions of cereals consumption in the prevention of memory loss and comorbid heart disease for older people may differ compared to other age groups," said Dr Xu, who holds a Heart Foundation postdoctoral research fellowship.

She said the study pointed to a need for age-specific healthy dietary guidelines.

Memory loss is one of the main early symptoms for people with dementia, which is the second leading cause of death of Australians. People living with dementia have on average between two and eight comorbid conditions, which may accelerate cognitive and functional impairment. The most common comorbidities in dementia include cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and hypertension.

"The dietary intervention in chronic disease prevention and management, by taking into consideration the fact that older populations often simultaneously deal with multiple chronic conditions, is a real challenge," Dr Xu said.

"To achieve the best outcome for our ageing population, strong scientific evidence that supports effective dietary intervention in preventing and managing co-occurring chronic conditions, is essential."

Learn about your amazing brain!

Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Technology Sydney. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Drinking 1% rather than 2% milk accounts for less aging in adults


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Drinking 1% rather than 2% milk accounts for less aging in adults

High-fat milk consumption is connected to significantly shorter telomeres

January 15, 2020
Brigham Young University
A new study shows drinking low-fat milk -- both nonfat and 1% milk -- is significantly associated with less aging in adults.
A new study shows drinking low-fat milk -- both nonfat and 1% milk -- is significantly associated with less aging in adults.
Research on 5,834 U.S. adults by Brigham Young University exercise science professor Larry Tucker, Ph.D., found people who drink low-fat milk experience several years less biological aging than those who drink high-fat (2% and whole) milk.
"It was surprising how strong the difference was," Tucker said. "If you're going to drink high-fat milk, you should be aware that doing so is predictive of or related to some significant consequences."
Tucker investigated the relationship between telomere length and both milk intake frequency (daily drinkers vs. weekly drinkers or less) and milk fat content consumed (whole vs. 2% vs. 1% vs. skim). Telomeres are the nucleotide endcaps of human chromosomes. They act like a biological clock and they're extremely correlated with age; each time a cell replicates, humans lose a tiny bit of the endcaps. Therefore, the older people get, the shorter their telomeres.
And, apparently, the more high-fat milk people drink, the shorter their telomeres are, according to the new BYU study, published in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity. The study revealed that for every 1% increase in milk fat consumed (drinking 2% vs. 1% milk), telomeres were 69 base pairs shorter in the adults studied, which translated into more than four years in additional biological aging. When Tucker analyzed the extremes of milk drinkers, adults who consumed whole milk had telomeres that were a striking 145 base pairs shorter than non-fat milk drinkers.

How your astonishing brain works. Click here
Nearly half of the people in the study consumed milk daily and another quarter consumed milk at least weekly. Just under a third of the adults reported consuming full-fat (whole) milk and another 30 percent reported drinking 2% milk. Meanwhile, 10% consumed 1% milk and another 17% drank nonfat milk. About 13% did not drink any cow milk.
"Milk is probably the most controversial food in our country," Tucker said. "If someone asked me to put together a presentation on the value of drinking milk, I could put together a 1-hour presentation that would knock your socks off. You'd think, 'Whoa, everybody should be drinking more milk.' If someone said do the opposite, I could also do that. At the very least, the findings of this study are definitely worth pondering. Maybe there's something here that requires a little more attention."
Somewhat surprisingly, he also found that milk abstainers had shorter telomeres than adults who consumed low-fat milk.
Tucker said the study findings provide support for the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2015-2020), which encourage adults to consume low-fat milk, both nonfat and 1% milk, and not high-fat milk, as part of a healthy diet.
"It's not a bad thing to drink milk," Tucker said. "You should just be more aware of what type of milk you are drinking."

How your astonishing brain works. Click here


Story Source:
Materials provided by Brigham Young University. Original written by Todd Hollingshead. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.