Good diet protects brain and promotes mental performance

According to research conducted by neurologists we should all avoid junk and eat food that is rich in vitamins, such as fish, in order to protect the brain. The research shows that elderly people with high blood levels of vitamins and omega 3 fatty acids (commonly found in fish) had less brain shrinkage and better mental performance.

Junk food such as biscuits and fried foods are often associated with ‘trans fats’ and these are linked to a lower score in tests and greater brain shrinkage that is typical of diseases such as Alzheimer's. The research carried out in the USA was based on pathological testing i.e. measuring the nutrient levels in blood. The analysts from Oregon Health and Science University, Oregon State University and Portland VA Medical Center looked at blood samples from over 100 healthy people with an average age of 87 who had few known risk factors for Alzheimer's disease. The researchers found that those who had more vitamins B, C, D and E in their blood and high levels of omega 3 fatty acids performed better in memory tests and thinking skills. The poorest scores were found in people who had more trans fats in their blood. Brain scans were carried out on 42 of the participants and it was found that people with high levels of vitamins and omega 3 in their blood were more likely to have a large brain volume; while those with high levels of trans fat had a smaller total brain volume.

Whilst these results will need to be confirmed, people could nonetheless prevent their brains from shrinking and keep them sharp by adjusting their diet. A simple diagnostic test can confirm whether you are eating healthily and consuming sufficient vitamins; people who eat a wide range of fruits, vegetables and fish can be identified via their blood biomarkers.

Click here if you are interested in arranging a nutrient biomarker blood test from the reference laboratory.

A substance that can be measured to help healthcare professionals to assess normal processes, disease processes or a person's response to treatment. Full medical glossary
A fluid that transports oxygen and other substances through the body, made up of blood cells suspended in a liquid. Full medical glossary
One of the three main food constituents (with carbohydrate and protein), and the main form in which energy is stored in the body. Full medical glossary
A doctor who specialises in disorders of the nervous system. Full medical glossary
A craving to eat non-food substances such as earth or coal. Full medical glossary
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Unsaturated fat. Full medical glossary
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Essential substances that cannot be produced by the body and so must be acquired from the diet. Full medical glossary