Older adults who regularly eat foods like fish, nuts, and olive oil may have less iron accumulation in their brains, as well as sharper memories, a small study suggests. The brain requires a certain level of iron to function normally, but the aging brain can accumulate an excess amount. And that excess iron has been linked to cognitive decline, a slow deterioration in memory and thinking skills that can lead to dementia.
The lead researcher said that it’s not yet clear that the extra iron actually causes mental decline, or that limiting its buildup will stave off dementia.
But diet stands as one potential way to do that.
The team found hints that certain dietary nutrients might be protective, including vitamin E and particular fatty acids found in foods like fish, nuts, and olive and safflower oils.
Older adults with the highest intakes of those nutrients from foods, and not from supplements, tended to have smaller iron concentrations in their brain tissue.
They also performed better, on average, on standard memory tests, versus their peers whose diets had a relative lack of those nutrients.
As I’ve told you before, when it comes to brain and heart health, you are what you eat.
© Copyright WLL, INC. 2021. This blog provides a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.