06 Jan 2012
Vitamins and healthy oils make the ageing brain sharper
According to a new study published in the journal Neurology, elderly people with higher levels of vitamins B, C, D and E and omega-3 fats in their blood perform better on tests of mental acuity and show less brain shrinkage typical of Alzheimer”s disease. These nutrients come from eating a wide range of fruit, vegetables and oily fish, or fortified foods and supplements.
This first study to measure actual blood nutrient levels, rather than basing its findings on less precise data from food questionnaires, also shows that unhealthy diets produce the opposite result: a decline in cognitive performance.
With a third of aging consumers concerned about mental decline, food products aimed at boosting mental sharpness are fast entering the market. These ”senior nutrition” ingredients present a huge global opportunity for the food industry with demographics firmly on its side.
Not only is it estimated that 2 million + people will be over 65 years old by 2035, interestingly, brain ageing may kick in earlier than we thought. A study published in the BMJ shows that brain function can start to deteriorate as early as 45.