Dietary intervention and prevention of cognitive-related outcomes in healthy older adults without cognitive dysfunction
In the last decade, the association between diet and cognitive function/dementia has been largely investigated
in observational studies, while there was a lack of evidence from randomized clinical trials (RCTs) on
the prevention of late-life cognitive disorders though dietary intervention in cognitively healthy older adults.
In the present article, we reviewed RCTs published in the last three years (2014-2016) exploring nutritional
intervention efficacy in preventing the onset of late-life cognitive disorders and dementia in cognitively
healthy subjects aged over 60 years using different levels of investigation (i.e., dietary pattern changes/
medical food/nutraceutical supplementation/multidomain approach and dietary macro- and micronutrient
approaches). From the included RCTs, there was moderate evidence that intervention through dietary pattern
changes, medical food/nutraceutical supplementation, and multidomain approach improved specific
cognitive domains or cognitive-related blood biomarkers. Moreover, there was high evidence that protein
supplementation improved specific cognitive domains. For fatty acid supplementation, mainly long-chain
polyunsaturated fatty acids, there was emerging evidence suggesting an impact of this approach in improving
specific cognitive domains, MRI findings, and/or cognitive-related biomarkers also in selected subgroups
of older subjects although some results were conflicting. Moreover, there was convincing evidence
of an impact of non-flavonoid polyphenol and flavonoid supplementations in improving specific cognitive
domains and/or MRI findings. Finally, there was only low evidence suggesting efficacy of intervention with
homocysteine-related vitamins in improving cognitive functions, dementia incidence, or cognitive-related
biomarkers in cognitively healthy older subjects.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
© Società Italiana di Gerontologia e Geriatria (SIGG) , 2018
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