Faster Cognitive Decline Seen With Eating More Ultraprocessed Foods

Faster cognitive decline is associated with consumption of more ultraprocessed foods.

HealthDay News — Consumption of more ultraprocessed foods is associated with faster cognitive decline, according to a study published online Dec. 5 in JAMA Neurology.

Natalia Gomes Gonçalves, Ph.D., from the University of São Paulo Medical School in Brazil, and colleagues examined the association between ultraprocessed food consumption and cognitive decline in the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Adult Health, which included three waves, about four years apart, from 2008 to 2017. A total of 10,775 participants whose data were analyzed were included in the study (mean age at baseline, 51.6 years).

The researchers found that individuals with ultraprocessed food consumption above the first quartile had a 28 percent faster rate of global cognitive decline and a 25 percent faster rate of executive function decline compared with those in the first quartile during a median follow-up of eight years (β = −0.004 and −0.003, respectively).

“Limiting ultraprocessed food consumption, particularly in middle-aged adults, may be an efficient form to prevent cognitive decline,” the authors write. “Future studies investigating the mechanism by which ultraprocessed food may lead to cognitive decline are needed, as well as confirmation of our findings in other longitudinal studies and randomized clinical trials.”

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