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Cheese, Wine, and Lamb May Help Protect Against Cognitive Decline

Fluid intelligence is the capacity to think logically and solve problems in novel situations, independent of acquired knowledge. Fluid intelligence tends to decline during late adulthood and greater decline has been associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. A new study suggests that consuming cheese, red wine, and lamb may help improve long-term cognitive functioning.

Participants in the study included 1,787 adults with an average age of 62 who were included in the UK Biobank. They completed a fluid intelligence test at baseline and 2 additional times during a 10-year period. Food frequency questionnaires were used to determine intake of a variety of foods. 

The researchers found that cheese offered the most protection against age-related cognitive decline, Daily consumption of red wine was also associated with improvements in cognitive function. In addition, consuming lamb on a weekly basis was linked with improved long-term cognitive function. Excessive consumption of salt was found to decrease cognitive function in participants at risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

The study was conducted by researchers from Iowa State University.It was published online ahead of print on November 24, 2020 in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

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