Long term Intake of fruits and veggies, including berries, may help to maintain cognitive function

November 30, 2018
nutrition
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Researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health reported recently that long term intake of fruits and veggies, including berries, may help to maintain cognitive function. The study analyzed data from nearly 28,000 men over the age of 51 who were participants in the Health Professionals Followup Study (HPFS) that has been tracking dietary data of participants for over 20 years. Participants were questioned on their usual intake of fruits, vegetables, and other foods over the course of one year; data collection was repeated every four years. They reported how often, on average, they consumed each food, as well as average portion size. Additional questions assessed Social Cognitive Function (SCF), a self-reported and validated meta-cognition measure that is used as a precursor to mild cognitive impairment. The SCF survey consisted of six questions on changes in memory and cognition, and was administered twice over the 20 year period. Each SCF survey was scored and categorized participants as good, moderate, or poor SCF. Analysis revealed that total fruit, total veggie, and fruit juice intake were significantly associated with lower odds of moderate and poor SCF, even after controlling for age and other major nondietary factors. Subanalyses further found that higher consumption of leafy greens, carotenoid-rich veggies, and berry fruits (strawberries and blueberries) were significantly associated with reduced odds of both moderate and poor SCF.


Source: Yuan C, Fondell E, Bhushan A, Ascherio A, Okereke OI, Grodstein F, Willett WC. Long-term intake of vegetables and fruits and subjective cognitive function in US men. Neurology. 2019;92:1-13. doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000006684

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