High level of key nutrients in seniors blood improve cognitive tests

on 07 January 2019
The brain's magic diet revealed

If your life is off-kilter or if you find every day a challenge, one of the first places to start making changes may be your diet. It is hard to have a good life if you are not fulfilling your body's basic needs . . . 

You are what you eat and that may determine how you think!

The Mediterranean diet has long been pouted as the diet for life and this research adds some value to that statement. While my work focuses almost exclusively on the mind, I always bring in the importance of the very basics of life, air, water/liquids, food and sleep/rest. In terms of our longevity, we can only survive a few minutes without air, a few days without water/liquids and a few weeks without food. The bigger problem for many humans is, that while they may breathe, drink and eat in a way that allows them to survive, many do not do these things in ways that will allow them to thrive! The brain uses upwards of one-fifth of the air of every breath, without adequate hydration, the brain very quickly begins to malfunction and without adequate nutrition, the brain cannot function well either.

So, it is important to feed the whole body with the basics, this will put you in a better place to start dealing more effectively with the mind. Now, to be sure, hypnotherapy can still help a person turn their life around, it's just so much easier and quicker if you are well supplied with the basics to start with. It also makes it more likely that you will continue to thrive if you are focusing on the whole of life, mind, body and spirit!

So, if you want life to be good, to live with a sense of purpose, hypnotherapy offers a solution but you have to be part of the solution, not the problem. Looking after the basics gives you more control over your life and hypnotherapy provides you with effective solutions, solutions that make life work better; really!

Hypnotherapy stands out as one of the most effective strategic life management methods there is, especially in its ability to promote clear thinking and good states of mental wellness. The behaviours that make life challenging are often a result of too much stress, too little sleep and too little by way of clarity! So, to take back control of your mind and your life, it makes perfect sense to use a methodology that addresses the subconscious mind's role in perpetuating negative, vague and ambiguous states of mind. Hypnosis helps us to create calm relaxing states of mind that make life work better! If you would like to address any concerns you have in this direction, or, if you just want to make your life feel better,  then why not make an appointment for a Free Consultation? Hypnosis gives you the ability to have a good life! 

The objective here is to help people understand how and why we become illogically trapped into irrational emotional experiences that may actually be happening for reasons different to that which we would imagine! If you want to know more about how Hypnotherapy can help you; why not make an appointment for a Free Consultation?

For more information on the Free Consultation - Go Here Or, to book your Free Consultation today, you can do so Here

The Research: 

The study, reported in the journal NeuroImage, looked at 32 key nutrients in the Mediterranean diet, which previous research has shown is associated with better brain function in ageing. It included 116 healthy adults 65-75 years of age.

"We wanted to investigate whether diet and nutrition predict cognitive performance in healthy older adults," said University of Illinois postdoctoral researcher Christopher Zwilling, who led the study with U. of I. psychology professor Aron Barbey in the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology.

The analysis linked specific patterns of a handful of nutrient biomarkers in the blood to better brain health and cognition. The nutrient patterns included omega-3 fatty acids, which are abundant in fish, walnuts and Brussels sprouts; omega-6 fatty acids, found in flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts and pistachios; lycopene, a vivid red pigment in tomatoes, watermelon and a few other fruits and vegetables; alpha- and beta-carotenoids, which give sweet potatoes and carrots their characteristic orange colour; and vitamins B and D.

The researchers relied on some of the most rigorous methods available for examining nutrient intake and brain health, Barbey said. Rather than asking participants to answer food-intake surveys, which require the accurate recall of what and how much participants ate, the team looked for patterns of nutrient "biomarkers" in the blood. The team also used functional magnetic resonance imaging to carefully evaluate the efficiency with which various brain networks performed.

"The basic question we were asking was whether diet and nutrition are associated with healthy brain ageing," Barbey said. "And instead of inferring brain health from a cognitive test, we directly examined the brain using high-resolution brain imaging."

Functional MRIs can indicate the efficiency of individual brain networks, he said.

"Efficiency has to do with how information is communicated within the network," Barbey said. "We looked at 'local efficiency' -- how well information is shared within a spatially confined set of brain regions -- and also 'global efficiency,' which reflects how many steps are required to transfer information from any one region to any other region in the network.

"If your network is more efficiently configured, then it should be easier, on average, to access relevant information and the task should take you less time," he said.

Participants also completed several cognitive tests.

The analysis found a robust link between higher levels of several nutrient biomarkers in the blood and enhanced performance on specific cognitive tests. These nutrients, which appeared to work synergistically, included omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, carotenoids, lycopene, riboflavin, folate, vitamin B12 and vitamin D.

The analysis also revealed that a pattern of omega-3s, omega-6s and carotene was linked to better functional brain network efficiency.

Different nutrient patterns appeared to moderate the efficiency in different brain networks. For example, higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids paralleled the positive relationship between a healthy frontoparietal network and general intelligence. The frontoparietal network supports the ability to focus attention and engage in goal-directed behaviour.

"Our study suggests that diet and nutrition moderate the association between network efficiency and cognitive performance," Barbey said. "This means that the strength of the association between functional brain network efficiency and cognitive performance is associated with the level of the nutrients."

To test the stability of the nutrient-biomarker patterns over time, the researchers invited 40 participants back for a second analysis roughly two years after the first tests. Similar nutrient patterns persisted in this subset of the original group.

"Because we're investigating how groups of nutrients work together, we're getting a more accurate snapshot of how the body processes these nutrients and how they can impact the brain and cognitive health," Zwilling said. "Of course, future studies are needed to affirm and extend these results."


Story Source:

Materials provided by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Christopher E. Zwilling, Tanveer Talukdar, Marta K. Zamroziewicz, Aron K. Barbey. Nutrient biomarker patterns, cognitive function, and fMRI measures of network efficiency in the ageing brain. NeuroImage, 2019; 188: 239 DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.12.007

Cite This Page:

Urbana-Champaign. "Nutrients in the blood linked to better brain connectivity, cognition in older adults." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 December 2018. <>.