A study released today and scheduled to be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 64th Annual Meeting in New Orleans April 21 to April 28, 2012, shows that those over 70 eating more than 2,100 calories per day, nearly double their risk of memory loss, or mild cognitive impairment (MCI). MCI is considered to be the stage between normal memory loss that comes with aging and early Alzheimer's disease.
Study author Yonas E. Geda, MD, MSc, with the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona and a member of the American Academy of Neurology said :
"We observed a dose-response pattern which simply means; the higher the amount of calories consumed each day, the higher the risk of MCI."
1,233 people between the ages of 70 and 89 and free of dementia residing in Olmsted County, Minn. were studied. 163 had MCI and participants noted the amount of calories they ate or drank in a food questionnaire. They were divided into three equal groups based on their daily caloric consumption. One-third of the participants consumed between 600 and 1,526 calories per day, one-third between 1,526 and 2,143 and one-third consumed between 2,143 and 6,000 calories per day.
Even after adjusting for history of stroke, diabetes, amount of education, and other factors that can affect risk of memory loss, the risk for the highest calorie group was nearly double that of the lower calorie group. There was no noticeable difference in risk for the middle group.
Geda concluded :
"Cutting calories and eating foods that make up a healthy diet may be a simpler way to prevent memory loss as we age."
The co-authors of the study include Ronald C. Petersen, MD, Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, and other investigators of the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging in Rochester, Minn.
Written by Rupert Shepherd