As the largest resource of information specific to women's brain health, we are sure you will find what you are looking for, and promise that you will discover new information.
Published on: October 3, 2015
by Michelle Schoffiro Cook for Care2:
You might want to rethink that next cola and hamburger as these foods may be shrinking your brain. New research in the online journal BMC Medicine found that the Standard American Diet (SAD) can cause shrinkage of a part of the brain known as the left hippocampus. While poor dietary choices have been linked to many health concerns including; heart disease, cancer, diabetes and others, this study is the first human study to link poor diet to brain shrinkage of the hippocampus.
The left hippocampus is a portion of the brain involved in memory, learning, mood regulation and depression in particular. Since this is the first part of the brain to deteriorate in Alzheimer’s disease, this study is significant to our understanding of causal factors for this serious disease as well.
The study analyzed 2551 Australians between the ages of 60 and 64 at the outset of the study who participated in dietary questionnaires, cognitive and physical health assessments. For a second round of assessments, 2222 of the original people agreed to have a second round of tests four years later, of which 622 of the original people were randomly selected to have brain MRIs at the four-year mark.
The researchers found that those who ate a Western diet consisting of refined carbohydrates like sugary foods, beverages and higher amounts of saturated fats found in meats and cheeses, had significantly smaller left hippocampus size than those who ate a healthier diet. An unhealthy diet was characterized by inclusion of: roasted meats, sausages, chips, hamburgers, steaks, fries and soft drinks. The scientists described a healthier diet as one with lower intakes of refined carbohydrates and saturated fats and higher intakes of nutrient-dense foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, green salads and fish.
This is a ground-breaking study because, while it has been established for years that the hippocampus is typically the first part of the brain to deteriorate in Alzheimer’s patients, it has not been studied in humans to see if there is a correlation to dietary factors. In earlier studies, brain diseases like depression have been linked to stress, low-grade inflammation, free radical damage and imbalanced gut microbes, all of which are still considered important factors to address in brain disease prevention and treatment. This new study demonstrates that diet can influence the actual size of the hippocampus, which when diminished in size is further linked to brain diseases like depression and Alzheimer’s.
The long-held medical belief that diet can’t do much to influence the health of our brain or prevent brain diseases is now outdated and irrelevant. Study after study shows that brain health is significantly impacted by your food choices, for better or worse.
Most likely, dementia does not increase risk for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the new coronavirus, just like dementia does not increase risk for flu. However, dementia-related behaviors, increased age and common health conditions that often...
As awareness of Alzheimer’s and dementia continues to grow; and, as the population ages the number of people searching for online memory tests continues to grow fast.In discussions with Universities and memory centers...
Doctors are not good at diagnosing Alzheimer’s and neither are spouses or children. Previously I wrote — What Was The First Sign of Alzheimer’s Disease in Your Case? In that article I asked Alzheimer’s caregivers to...
The material presented through the Think Tank feature on this website is in no way intended to replace professional medical care or attention by a qualified practitioner. WBHI strongly advises all questioners and viewers using this feature with health problems to consult a qualified physician, especially before starting any treatment. The materials provided on this website cannot and should not be used as a basis for diagnosis or choice of treatment. The materials are not exhaustive and cannot always respect all the most recent research in all areas of medicine.