A plant-based diet may reduce the risk of cognitive decline

A new study finds that a plant-based diet reduces the risk of cognitive decline and dementia in older adults. The study, published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, took 12 years and involved 843 people over the age of 65 from France.

The study analyzed the relationship between the metabolism of dietary components, endogenous metabolism, gut microbiota and cognitive impairment. The researchers examined the role of diet in the risk of cognitive impairment. They examined plasma samples and showed that some metabolites were associated with cognitive impairment and dementia progression, while others were protective.

Protective associations were found between metabolites derived from microbial metabolism of cocoa, mushrooms, red wine, and polyphenol-rich foods such as apples, green tea, blueberries, and pomegranates. This means that these foods reduce the risk of cognitive impairment in older adults.

Meanwhile, saccharin, a common ingredient in artificial sweeteners, has been linked to an increased risk of cognitive decline.

Professor Cristina Andrés-Lacueva concluded: “Increased intake of fruits, vegetables and plant-based foods provides polyphenols and other bioactive compounds that help reduce Risk of cognitive decline with aging.”