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Senior Cognition Improves With Mediterranean Diet Fortified With Olive Oil, Nuts

May 11, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Adding extra virgin olive oil or mixed nuts to a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and fish -- and low in animal fats – improves cognitive performance in older adults, according to a study. But the researchers in Spain cautioned that the findings are preliminary and more research is necessary. The randomized clinical trial included 447 cognitively healthy volunteers who followed a low-fat diet (the control group), a Mediterranean-type diet supplemented with olive oil, or a Mediterranean diet supplemented with walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts. After four years, the cognitive functions of the low-fat diet group had declined. But memory improved in the Mediterranean diet plus nuts group, and frontal (memory) and global cognition improved in the Mediterranean diet plus olive oil group.
Cinta Valls-Pedret et al., "Mediterranean Diet and Age-Related Cognitive Decline. ", JAMA Internal Medicine, May 11, 2015, © American Medical Association
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