Overeating may lead to memory loss

   Feb 26, 2:09 pm

Washington, Feb 26 (ANI): Excessive eating may greatly increase the risk of memory loss for elderly people, a new study has suggested.

In 2006 the Mayo Clinic chose a random sample of 1,233 people in Olmsted County, Minn., ages 70 to 89 years old (none previously diagnosed with dementia) and asked them to fill out a questionnaire describing their diets over the previous year.

Participants then returned the surveys to the clinic in Rochester, Minn., after which the researchers grouped the study participants into three categories: those whose daily caloric consumption was between 600 and 1,526 calories; between 1,526 and 2,143; and between 2,143 and 6,000.

Each participant then underwent a series of MRI brain scans and cognitive tests.

Correlating caloric consumption with test performance, researchers concluded the odds of having MCI more than doubled for those in the highest calorie-consuming group compared with those in the lowest calorie group.

There are several caveats to these findings, however. For instance, the report did not take into account the types of food and beverages consumed nor did it examine the rate at which food was eaten throughout a day.

Study author Yonas Geda acknowledged that the research to better understand the link between mild cognitive impairment (MCI)-the stage between normal age-related memory loss and early Alzheimer's disease - and eating in the elderly is still preliminary, but he noted that it does create a foundation for more extensive cause-and-effect research, which he and his colleagues are currently pursuing.

This article was first published on Scientific American. (ANI)

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