February 25, 2024

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Ultra-Processed Foods May Impair Cognition in Elderly

Ultra-Processed Foods May Impair Cognition in Elderly

Processed or extremely-processed?

An article before this year in the European Journal of Nourishment reported that substantial use of ultra-processed foodstuff is linked to even worse-than-common overall performance on a person individual examination of cognitive purpose in older U.S. grownups (60+ a long time-previous) who did not have chronic illnesses these types of as diabetes or cardiovascular sickness. The distinct take a look at was “Animal Fluency.” Under no circumstances read of it? Me either. Hold looking through.

The study incorporated 2,700 members, average age 69. Individuals were requested to recall what they ate in the prior 24 hrs. Food items were being “classified according to NOVA, a food items classification primarily based on the extent and reason of industrial food processing, into four mutually exceptional teams: (1) unprocessed or minimally processed foods, (2) processed culinary ingredients, (3) processed foodstuff, and (4) UPFs [ultra-processed foods].”

Ultra-processed meals? “…most foodstuff described as “Frozen meals” or “Lunchables”, as properly as some objects explained as consumed in “Restaurant rapidly food items/pizza” or acquired at a “Vending machine” were categorised as UPFs.” Furthermore, the authors compose in the introduction that “UPFs, according to NOVA classification system, are industrial formulations of processed meals substances (oils, fats, sugars, starch, and protein isolates) that include minor or no total food stuff and ordinarily include things like flavourings, colourings, emulsifiers, and other cosmetic additives. UPFs are getting dominant in diet programs globally and are replacing classic diet plans dependent on unprocessed and minimally processed foodstuff.

Of the overall examine population at hand, UPFs were being about fifty percent of all energy consumed but ranged from 30 to 70%.

“Cognitive effectiveness was assessed working with the Consortium to Build a Registry for Alzheimer’s Ailment (CERAD), Word Finding out take a look at, Animal Fluency check, and the Digit Symbol Substitution test (DSST).”

The Animal Fluency examination “evaluates categorical verbal fluency (executive operate).” “For the Animal Fluency exam, the participant is asked for to identify as many animals as achievable inside of a 60-s [60 seconds, I assume] time interval. Just about every animal corresponds to 1 issue and the outcome is presented as the complete sum of points.”

Mr Ed, the fluent horse (You will not get this if below 63)

The examination subjects ended up offered two other assessments of cognitive purpose but the investigators located no dissimilarities in efficiency dependent on extremely-processed foodstuff use. Here are these other two tests:

The two parts of the CERAD Term Finding out check consist of (1) three consecutive discovering trials, where by the participant is requested to recall a listing of 10 unrelated phrases immediately right after their presentation. Just about every word corresponds to 1 position, and the result is presented as a complete rating throughout the 3 trials (assortment 0–30) and (2) a delayed phrase recall test, executed just after the two other cognitive tests. The result ranges from to 10. … For the DSST, the participant is introduced a one sheet of paper in which they are questioned to match a checklist of 9 symbols to figures according to a essential found on the prime of the website page. The job experienced 133 figures and the participant experienced 2 min to total it. The result is proven as the complete range of suitable matches. For all the exams, higher scores depict far better cognitive functionality. 

The authors conclude: “Consumption of UPF was connected with worse functionality in Animal Fluency, a cognitive test that assesses language and executive operate in older grownups without pre-existing disorders these as CVD [cardiovascular disease] and diabetic issues, though no associations ended up observed for individuals with these conditions. Although longitudinal studies are expected to offer more powerful evidence, these effects advise that reducing UPF use may well be a way to mitigate age-connected cognitive decrease and cut down the danger of dementia.”

I concur these results are not extremely solid.

Steve Parker, M.D.

h/t Jan at The Very low Carb Diabetic blog site

front cover of Conquer Diabetes and Prediabetes