Better Brain Function and Fatty Acids
A recent study by the Brigham and Women’s Hospital published in Annals of Neurology, found a link between saturated fat and decreased memory and cognitive function.
The study showed that monounsaturated fatty acids (omega-3) could be linked to an improvement in cognitive function and memory.
The research included nearly 40,000 women, ages 45 and over but researchers only focused on data from 6,000 women over 65 years of age.
The women took part in three cognitive tests done every two years with an average test period of four years.
As a result, women who consumed the highest levels of saturated fat, had poorer overall cognitive ability and memory during the testing period.
On the other hand, women who had the highest levels of unsaturated fats, scored higher in the tests.
Furthermore, Dr. Olivia Okereke of the Massachusetts General Hospital explained that the kind of fat was more important than the source of fat.
She also noted finding methods to prevent mental decline in the elderly is very important. Even subtle declines in cognitive performance can cause severe issues such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Brain Loss, Brain Shrinkage and B Vitamins
A study from 2010, in which participants received higher doses of B vitamins, showed that they had fewer brain washes than the placebo group.
They based the study on the assumption that by controlling homocysteine levels, the individual could reduce brain shrinkage of the brain and slow the onset of Alzheimer’s.
Increased homocysteine is associated with degeneration of the brain in which B vitamins are known to suppress.
Those who took vitamin B regularly, had lesser brain loss after two years compared to those who got a placebo.
Individuals with the highest homocysteine levels at the start of the research experienced brain loss at half the rate of those who took a placebo.
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B vitamins and Omega-3 Deficiencies
The B vitamins, B6-9-12, play an essential role in preventing cognitive function decline and even more in serious brain disorders.
B vitamins have made headlines for their important role in preventing cognitive decline and more severe mental problem like dementia.
Cognitive impairment and memory impairment are two of the most common signs of vitamin B12 deficiency.
While a deficiency in omega-3 is related to neurocognitive disorders such as brain atrophy, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Best Sources of Omega-3 and B vitamins
The body alone can’t produce omega-3 fatty acids; it should be taken through food and supplements intake.
Animal sources are Alaskan salmon, tuna, herring, anchovies, sardines, trout, sea bass and mackerel.
If you’re a vegetarian, omega-3 is high in seaweed; algae like chlorella and spirulina; seeds such as chia, flax and hemp, and walnuts.
Moreover, for people who cannot meet the daily requirement of omega-3s, supplements are available in the form of fish oil, krill oil, and cod liver oil.
On the other hand, B vitamins, can be produced in the gut. Organic, fermented foods stimulate the intestine’s vitamin B production.
Great sources of vitamin B6 are beef, turkey, chicken, wild boar salmon, avocados, sweet potatoes, bananas, sunflower seeds, spinach, and pistachios.
While cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale, spinach, asparagus, and legumes are rich in vitamin B9 or folate.
Also, vitamin B12 sources are dairy products, poultry and meat.
Optimum Brain Health with Omega-3 and B vitamins
As a result of poor diet, the body is deprived of proper vitamins and minerals which results in cognitive aging and several diseases.
It’s only necessary to include these two nutrients in the daily diet. They’re important for growth of new cells and protection against inflammation and free radicals.
Healthy eaters are less likely to have problems with memory, attention, and thinking over the course of five years compared to unhealthy eaters.
It’s important to keep the lifelines of the brain open for superior brain health.