Trans Fats and Nutrients Affect the Alzheimer’s Brain
Renew You Challenge
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A recent study published in the journal Neurology has found an association between higher consumption of trans fats and lower blood levels of certain nutrients with brain shrinkage and poor memory and thinking. The study involved 104 older adults, average age 87, with few known risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. Of those adults, the researchers did an MRI scan on 42. Those participants who consumed higher amounts of trans fats were more likely to have brain shrinkage associated with Alzheimer’s disease than those people consuming less trans fats.
People with higher amounts of trans fats in the diet also performed poorly on memory and thinking tests. Those participants with higher amounts of vitamin B, C, D, E and omega-3 fatty acids, on the other hand, performed well on the tests.
Most trans fats are found in partially hydrogenated vegetable oil in packaged, fast, fried, frozen, and baked foods and margarine spreads. Trans fats extend shelf life and stability of processed foods, long ago replacing butter, also due to the absence of saturated fats.
Trans fats are found in trace amounts naturally in dairy and meats, but other than that, they have no place in a healthy diet. This week, check the labels of your foods. If you find trans fats, make the switch to a healthier trans-fat–free alternative. Also, increase your vitamin and omega-3 intake with a good multivitamin and omega-3 fish oil supplement