diet

Low fat diet missing essential brain nutrients and leads to cognitive decline

Saturday, February 26, 2011 by: John Phillip
Tags: low-fat diet, brain function, health news

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(NaturalNews) It`s estimated that between 10 and 20% of people over the age of 65 suffer from mild cognitive impairment or have been diagnosed with Alzheimer`s disease. By the age of 80 more than half have some loss of memory or functional decline and the trend continues to escalate as the number of baby boomers turn senior citizen explodes. Forward thinking nutritional researchers believe that some of the blame for this trend can be placed firmly on the fat-phobic diet pushed by many physicians and dieticians for the past half century that deprives delicate brain cells of essential nutrients. It`s important to include a healthy source of serine and choline; these nutrients nourish the brain and improve memory and mental cognition to prevent brain aging.

Low Fat Diet Linked With Cognitive Decline
Many people have been led to believe that a diet void of fat is ideal for heart health. Essential sources of cholesterol and saturated fats are eliminated and health begins to slowly decline as critical nutrients necessary for cellular repair and regeneration are deprived. Nutritional research clearly demonstrates that a low fat diet is dangerously high in carbohydrates and sugar leading to metabolic dysfunction, diabetes, heart disease and brain aging.

The exclusion of dietary fat typically causes a shortage of the nutrients choline and serine; these nutrients are used by the brain to manufacture memory-related neurotransmitters and lipids used in cell membranes. Over the course of decades, consuming a processed diet with limited healthy fats can lead to cognitive decline and may be a causative factor in the dramatic rise in Alzheimer`s disease cases. Including choline and serine from diet or supplemental sources can improve memory and help to prevent age-related dementia.

Choline is Necessary to Form New Memories
Choline is naturally found in foods including beef and chicken liver, eggs, milk, soybeans and peanuts. Many health conscious individuals and those on a low fat diet try to avoid these food sources and may be at risk for choline deficiency.

The results of a study published in the journal Clinical Therapeutics show that participants with mild to moderate cognitive impairment experienced significant improvement in memory and learning capabilities when provided with choline supplementation over a 6 month period. The study authors remarked that the improvements seen with choline supplementation were superior to pharmacological interventions.

Serine Fights Brain Aging, Maintains Plasticity
Serine (phosphatidylserine) is a naturally occurring orthomolecular compound found naturally in the brain to help maintain memory function and to assist the replacement of damaged neurons (neuroplasticity). The critical communication between neurons in the brain is dependent on a steady supply of nutrients such as serine to enhance learning skills and the formation of new memories.

The results of a study published in the journal Neurology showed that serine supplementation could "provide significant benefits for cognitive functions that typically decline with age, including concentration, learning, memory and vocabulary skills."

The loss of cognition as we age is not normal. A wealth of research explains that loss of memory and cognitive resources is the result of decades of nutrient depletion that take an ultimate toll on the brain. Choline and serine are brain-specific nutrients that may be depleted due to poor diet. Improved diet and supplementation if necessary are shown to prevent the typical symptoms of brain aging and prevent dementia.

Article References:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2027477
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12637119
http://www.neurology.org/content/41/5/644.sh...

About the author

John Phillip is a Health Researcher and Author who writes regularly on the cutting edge use of diet, lifestyle modifications and targeted supplementation to enhance and improve the quality and length of life. John is the author of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan', a comprehensive EBook explaining how to use Diet, Exercise, Mind and Targeted Supplementation to achieve your weight loss goal. Visit My Optimal Health Resource to continue reading the latest health news updates, and to download your Free 48 page copy of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan'.

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