Consuming cheese & wine in diet may help reduce cognitive decline

Consuming more cheese & wine in diet may help reduce cognitive decline
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Daily consumption of alcohol, particularly red wine, was related to improvements in cognitive function

Iowa [US]: Including more wine and cheese, in diet, may help reduce cognitive decline, suggest the findings of a new study.

# Daily consumption of alcohol, particularly red wine, is related to improvements in cognitive function.
# Weekly consumption of lamb improves long-term cognitive prowess. # Excessive consumption of salt is bad, but only individuals already at risk for Alzheimer’s Disease may need to watch their intake to avoid cognitive problems over time.

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These are some of the most significant findings of a study by Iowa State University, highlighted in an article published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

The study, spearheaded by principal investigator Auriel Willette, an Assistant Professor in Food Science and Human Nutrition Department, and Brandon Klinedinst, a neuroscience PhD candidate, is a first-of-its-kind large scale analysis that connects specific foods to later-in-life cognitive acuity.

Willette, Klinedinst and their team analysed data collected from 1,787 ageing adults (46 to 77 years of age) in the United Kingdom through the UK Biobank, a large-scale biomedical database and research resource containing in-depth genetic and health information from half-a-million participants. The database is globally accessible to approved researchers undertaking vital research into the world’s most common and life-threatening diseases.

Participants completed a Fluid Intelligence Test (FIT) through touchscreen questionnaire at baseline (compiled between 2006 and 2010) and then in two follow-up assessments (conducted from 2012 through 2013 and again between 2015 and 2016). The FIT analysis provides an in-time snapshot of an individual’s ability to “think on the fly.”

Participants also answered questions about their food and alcohol consumption at baseline and through two follow-up assessments. The Food Frequency Questionnaire asked the participants about their intake of fresh fruit, dried fruit, raw vegetables and salad, cooked vegetables, oily fish, lean fish, processed meat, poultry, beef, lamb, pork, cheese, bread, cereal, tea and coffee, beer, cider, red wine, white wine, champagne and other forms of liquor.

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“I was pleasantly surprised that our results suggest that responsibly eating cheese and drinking red wine daily are not just good for helping us cope with our current COVID-19 pandemic, but perhaps also dealing with an increasingly complex world that never seems to slow down,” Willette said. “While we took into account whether this was just due to what well-off people eat and drink, randomised clinical trials are needed to determine if making easy changes in our diet could help our brains in significant ways.”

Klinedinst added depending on their genetic factors, some individuals seem to be more protected from the effects of Alzheimer’s, while others seem to be at greater risk. “That said, I believe the right food choices can prevent the disease and cognitive decline altogether. Perhaps the silver bullet we’re looking for is upgrading how we eat. Knowing what that entails contributes to a better understanding of Alzheimer’s and put this disease in a reverse trajectory.”