Sugar and Carbohydrates Linked to Impaired Brain Function in Elderly

 

Note the sugar cubes

Note the sugar cubes

The Mayo Clinic recently reported that diets high in carbohydrates and sugar increase the odds of developing cognitive impairment in the elderly years.

Mild cognitive impairment is usually a precursor to dementia.  Many authorities think dementia develops more often in people with diabetes, although some studies refute the linkage.

Mayo investigators followed 940 patients with normal baseline cognitive functioning over the course of four years. Diet was assessed via questionnaire. Study participants were ages 70 to 89. As the years passed, 200 of them developed mild cognitive impairment.

Compared with those eating at the lowest level of carbohydrate consumption, those eating at the highest levels were almost twice as likely to go to develop mild cognitive impairment.

The scientists note that those eating lower on the carbohydrate continuum were eating more fats and proteins.  Whether the Low-Carb Mediterranean Diet prevents cognitive impairments remains to be seen.

Steve Parker, M.D.

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