September 22, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

The benefits of cheese for the brain

Physical activity, a healthy diet and quitting smoking are the basic rules for preventing brain health as you age. However, scientists have now found another “lifesaver”, and this is none other than eating cheese.

Researchers from Japan who followed the health and eating habits of more than 1,500 people over 65 said that those who ate cheese regularly performed better in cognitive tests, less likely to develop dementia.

Cheese may contain nutrients that improve brain function, but further research is needed to confirm the results, scientists say.

According to researchers from the National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology in Obu, previous studies have shown that physical activity, a Mediterranean diet, dairy consumption and moderate wine consumption may delay or prevent dementia and cognitive decline.

Other studies have shown that high intake soy products, vegetables, milk and dairy products also reduce the risk of early onset of memory problems.

To further explore the link between brain health and dairy products, the researchers analyzed data from 1,504 older adults in Tokyo who were asked about their eating habits and health. About eight in ten included cheese in their diet daily (27.6%), every two days (23.7%) or 1-2 times a week (29.7%).

Processed cheese turned out to be the most popular, it was chosen by two-thirds of the participants. Participants reported using mature cheeses such as brie and camembert (15.3%), fresh cheeses such as feta, mascarpone and ricotta (13%), and Roquefort, Gorgonzola and bleu brie (2.5%).

They were also given a 30-item test to test their cognitive functioning, which includes tests of orientation, attention, memory, language and visuospatial skills. A score of 23 or lower was associated with worse cognitive function.

The results showed that participants who included cheese in their diet were less likely to score below this score, suggesting they had better cognitive function.

Those who ate cheese scored an average of 28 points, while those who did not eat it scored 27. Cheese lovers had slightly lower BMI (an indicator of body mass) and blood pressure, faster walking speeds, and a more varied diet. Although they had higher cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

“The results show that Cheese consumption is inversely proportional to cognitive decline, even after adjusting for multiple factors,” the study authors report. Scientists do not rush to conclusions, saying that the results do not prove cause and effect and further research will be needed to confirm them.

This may be because cheese lovers tend to eat a more varied diet. Cheese may also contain nutrients that support cognitive function. The results were published in the scientific journal Nutrients.

Source link