Food for thought: does what you eat influence your memory?

Who knew that what you consume on a daily basis could affect your memory?

Well, Ajuriel Willette, an assistant professor at Iowa State University in the department of food science and human nutrition, along with his team of researchers, proved just that.

Willette and his team unveiled a satiety hormone through research that could lower the chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease when issued in an elevated dosage, a Eurekalert article said, the original article/release originating from Iowa State University.

Willette and his team used data from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) to examine the satiety hormone in a total of 287 people. The hormone, Cholecystokinin (CCK), exists in the small intestines and in the brain.

In the intestinal system, CCK encourages the absorption of proteins and fats, whereas, in the brain, the hormone resides in the hippocampus, the memory-creating area of the brain.

Through their studies, Willette and his team discovered that for people who have greater CCK levels in their bodies, the chances of them developing mild cognitive impairment, which commonly occurs before developing Alzheimer’s, or developing Alzheimer’s disease itself, decreased by 65 per cent.

“It will hopefully help to shed further light on how satiety hormones in the blood and brain affect brain function,” Willette said in the article.

The researchers involved with the study analyzed CCK specifically because it is “highly expressed in memory formation,” said Alexandra Plagman, lead author and graduate student in nutritional science, in the article.

Through their research, those involved hope their findings will prompt individuals to consider the nutritional elements of their diets, as opposed to strictly caloric intake. Plagman is currently exploring how a diet could influence a person’s CCK levels, specifically researching fasting glucose and ketone diets, the article says.

“By looking at the nutritional aspect, we can tell if a certain diet could prevent Alzheimer’s disease or prevent progression of the disease,” Plagman said in the article.

“The regulation of when and how much we eat can have some association with how good our memory is,” Willette added. “Bottom line: what we eat and what our body does with it affects our brain.”

A paper depicting the study’s findings was recently was accepted for publication in Neurobiology of Aging.

Photo on <a href=””>VisualHunt</a&gt;





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