Posted on Nov 14, 2012, 6 a.m.
Eating a diet laden with carbohydrates raises the risk of developing mild cognitive impairment by four times; sugars raise that risk 1.5 times.
Previously, studies suggest that high caloric intake associates with an increased risk of cognitive impairment. Rosebud O. Roberts, from Mayo Clinic (Minnesota, USA), and colleagues analyzed data collected on 1,230 men and women, ages 70 to 89 years, who were surveyed on their dietary patterns of the previous year. At that time, their cognitive function was evaluated: only the roughly 940 who showed no signs of cognitive impairment were asked to return for follow-up evaluations of their cognitive function. About four years into the study, 200 of those 940 were beginning to show mild cognitive impairment, problems with memory, language, thinking and judgment that are greater than normal age-related changes. The subjects who reported the highest carbohydrate intake at the beginning of the study were 1.9 times likelier to develop mild cognitive impairment, as compared to those with the lowest intake of carbohydrates. Participants with the highest sugar intake were 1.5 times likelier to experience mild cognitive impairment , as compared those with the lowest levels. The team also determined that the subjects whose diets were highest in fat -- compared to the lowest -- were 42% less likely to face cognitive impairment, and those who had the highest intake of protein had a reduced risk of 21%. When total fat and protein intake were taken into account, people with the highest carbohydrate intake were 3.6 times likelier to develop mild cognitive impairment. The study authors urge that: “A dietary pattern with relatively high caloric intake from carbohydrates and low caloric intake from fat and proteins may increase the risk of [mild cognitive impairment] or dementia in elderly persons.”
Rosebud O. Roberts, Lewis A. Roberts, Yonas E. Geda, Ruth H. Cha, V. Shane Pankratz, Helen M. O’Connor, et al. :”Relative Intake of Macronutrients Impacts Risk of Mild Cognitive Impairment or Dementia.” J Alz Dis., vol 32, issue 2.