December 28, 2011
Slower Brain Aging For Elderly On Better Diets?

Junk foods junk up your brain.

CORVALLIS, Ore. New research has found that elderly people with higher levels of several vitamins and omega 3 fatty acids in their blood had better performance on mental acuity tests and less of the brain shrinkage typical of Alzheimer's disease while "junk food" diets produced just the opposite result.

The study was among the first of its type to specifically measure a wide range of blood nutrient levels instead of basing findings on less precise data such as food questionnaires, and found positive effects of high levels of vitamins B, C, D, E and the healthy oils most commonly found in fish.

The research was done by scientists from the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Ore., and the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. It was published today in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Eat fish and healthy foods. Avoid junk foods.

The most favorable cognitive outcomes and brain size measurements were associated with two dietary patterns high levels of marine fatty acids, and high levels of vitamins B, C, D and E.

Consistently worse cognitive performance was associated with a higher intake of the type of trans-fats found in baked and fried foods, margarine, fast food and other less-healthy dietary choices.

Slow your brain's aging. If you can keep it fairly intact long enough then rejuvenation therapies will eventually enable you to get a younger brain again.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2011 December 28 10:00 PM  Aging Brain Studies

BioBob said at December 30, 2011 11:23 AM:

@ Nano - human brain size does not correlate with intelligence.

You know why we always see all these "old and decrepit" posts ? Randall Parker is a young whippersnapper !!1!!!11

willis said at December 30, 2011 12:37 PM:

I used to be right smart. Then I started eating junk foods and drinking softdrinks. My brain aged so fast I can now see the wisdom in voting for Obama.

Sycamore said at December 30, 2011 12:54 PM:

> human brain size does not correlate with intelligence.

That's not correct, the correlation is around 0.30.

BioBob said at December 30, 2011 2:28 PM:

@ sycamore

LOL My sarcasm is now corrected. But are you certain it's not .3312 ? or perhaps .521 ? What I REALLY want to know is the standard error and variance....

In any case, a cockroach with a minimal brain is "smarter" than the most sophisticated current robotic AI system in many ways

Billy Bob said at December 30, 2011 7:10 PM:

Wondering to what extent it's the junk food itself that causes the cognitive decline, and to what extent it's the junk food squeezing out more nutritious alternatives. What you discover when eating a healthy diet is how little room there is for sweets.

curt said at December 31, 2011 4:26 AM:

Nothing you mention in the study talks about coffee intake. Recently the website(group) Life Exension ( published a report that states that drinking 4-12 cups of coffee a day can prevent (reduce the likely hood) of alzhiemers and other health issues. So maybe they actually drank more coffee instead of eating more fish?

Dentin said at December 31, 2011 10:30 AM:


While studies should naturally be taken with a grain of salt (as should everything), it is a mistake to assume that your own personal idea is a better explanation. If you actually read the study, it discusses correlations between cognitive performance and blood biomarkers; unless your ideas about coffee also have some mechanism by which they raise the levels of marine fatty acids and vitamins B, C, D, and E, it's quite safe to say 'no' to your question.

That Guy said at January 8, 2012 2:16 AM:

One of the first symptoms of pre-clinical Alzheimer's is anosmia (lack of a sense of smell). There are only a few basic tastes, with most of the subtlety of "flavour" from food being percieved through smell. Perhaps those with incipient Alzheimer's or mild cognitive impairment eat cheap junk food because they are incapable of appreciating the subtleties of quality food.

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