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Diet & Health : General Health Last Updated: Apr 20, 2011 - 9:38:09 AM

Caloric restriction can help aging brains
By Sue Mueller
Jan 28, 2009 - 11:56:22 AM

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Jan 28, 2009 ( -- Caloric restriction may help the elderly retain memory and thinking skills, according to a new study published in the Jan. 27 online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


The study found cutting caloric intake by 30 percent for three months improved memory and thinking skills among healthy, overweight adults.


The study suggests that cutting caloric intake boosts memory and cognition by reducing insulin resistance and inflammation.


The study led by Dr. Agnes Floel, assistant professor of neurology at the University of Munster failed however to confirm early studies that showed unsaturated fatty acids such as omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish bettered cognitive performance in rats.


The study involved 49 overweight men and women aged 60.5 years on average and with a body mass index of 28.   The participants were told to cut caloric intake, but not eat less than 1,200 calories daily.


On average, participants lost five pounds and those who adhered closely to the dietary recommendations lost an average of eight pounds. Those who lost more weight experienced the better improvements in memory performance.


Caloric restriction has proved to extend lifespan in many animal species.

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