Can A Healthier Diet Prevent Loss of Brain Tissue?
Title: Better diet quality relates to larger brain tissue volumes: The Rotterdam Study
Author: Croll et al
Journal: Neurology (Issue: Volume 90(24), 12 June 2018)
Objective: To investigate the relation of diet quality with structural brain tissue volumes and focal vascular lesions in a dementia-free population.
Diet and nutrition is a known modifiable risk factor in diseases of the brain including dementia. Small studies have linked healthy diets with brain health and larger brain volumes. Most studies have focused on individual nutritional components such as antioxidants, B vitamins and omega 3 fatty acids. What the authors of this study wanted to do was look at the larger nutritional picture and see what dietary patterns were associated with structural brain volumes in a population of older folks who did not have dementia.
4,447 participants from the Rotterdam study
Underwent dietary assessment and brain MRI (2005-2015)
Diet quality score of 0-14 was calculated reflecting adherence to dutch dietary guidelines
Associations of diet quality score and separate food groups with brain structures were assessed
They accounted for other variables such as high blood pressure, smoking and physical activity
They found that better diet quality related to:
Larger brain volume
Gray matter volume
White matter volume
Diet quality was not associated with
White matter lesion volume
Larger brain volumes were associated with a high intake of the following foods
Low intake of sugar-containing beverages
Essentially, a better diet was associated with larger brain volumes. This was true even when stratifying out for individual foods.
These results directly suggest the significance of nutrition on brain volumes, which in other studies has been linked to better cognitive abilities
However, to draw more firm conclusions about this association, more research is needed over a longer period of time.
Croll PH, Voortman T, Ikram MA, Franco OH, Schoufour JD, Bos D, Vernooij MW. Better diet quality relates to larger brain tissue volumes: The Rotterdam Study. Neurology. 2018 Jun 12;90(24):e2166-e2173.