The body needs protein to stay healthy and function the way it should. Protein is a critical part of the processes that fuel energy and carry oxygen throughout the body in the blood. A recent study has found that a protein-balanced diet may help support cognitive health.
Two cohorts were created for the study. The first cohort (Cohort A) included 150 adults over the age of 65 with no diagnosis of dementia. They completed a diet history questionnaire used to evaluate daily food intake. A high carbohydrate diet was defined as having high cereal intake. A protein-balanced diet was defined as having high intake of legumes, vegetables, seafood, meat, and eggs. Cognitive function was evaluated using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment.
The researchers found that cognitive function in Cohort A was significantly higher in the protein-balanced participants compared to those in the high carbohydrate group.
The second cohort (Cohort B) consisted of 267 adults over the age of 65 with no diagnosis of dementia. A diet history questionnaire was administered to determine daily food intake. Cognitive function was evaluated using the Japanese version of the word list memory test. Participants with cognitive difficulties were further assessed using the neurocognitive index score.
Participants in Cohort B with high carbohydrate diets were found to have significant cognitive difficulties compared to those with a protein-balanced diet. These findings held true for participants already experiencing cognitive difficulties.
The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Tokyo. It was published online ahead of print on February 2, 2023 in the journal Nutrients.
A previous study found that magnesium threonate and PS may help support cognitive function.
Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid. The body uses it to produce carnosine, which helps with exercise performance. According to a new study, supplementation with beta-alanine may provide cognitive and mood benefits.
Participants in the study included 100 people with an average age of 71. They were given 2.4 grams of beta-alanine or a placebo daily for 10 weeks. Cognitive function tests were administered at baseline, 5 weeks, and 10 weeks. The tests used included the Montreal cognitive assessment and the Stroop pattern recognition tests.
Behavioral questionnaires including the profile of mood states, the geriatric depression scale, and the geriatric anxiety test were administered at the same intervals. Grip strength and timed sit to stand tests were also administered.
No significant differences were found in cognitive function between the beta-alanine and placebo groups as a whole. However, participants with below normal cognitive function in the beta-alanine group saw a 12% improvement in Montreal cognitive assessment scores compared to the placebo group.
Participants in the beta-alanine group also saw significant decreases in geriatric depression scale scores compared to the placebo group. No differences were seen between the groups in physical function.
The study was conducted by researchers from Ariel University. It was published online ahead of print on February 12, 2023, in the journal Nutrients.
Regular fish oil consumption was associated with cognitive health support in a previous study.