An posting previously this calendar year in the European Journal of Nourishment noted that higher usage of ultra-processed foods is connected to worse-than-typical overall performance on one particular particular examination of cognitive purpose in more mature U.S. adults (60+ a long time-aged) who did not have serious disorders these as diabetes or cardiovascular illness. The specific test was “Animal Fluency.” By no means listened to of it? Me either. Continue to keep looking through.
The study provided 2,700 participants, average age 69. Members ended up requested to remember what they ate in the prior 24 several hours. Foods were “classified according to NOVA, a foods classification based on the extent and reason of industrial foods processing, into four mutually exclusive groups: (1) unprocessed or minimally processed foods, (2) processed culinary components, (3) processed foodstuff, and (4) UPFs [ultra-processed foods].”
Extremely-processed meals? “…most foods described as “Frozen meals” or “Lunchables”, as very well as some objects described as consumed in “Restaurant rapidly food items/pizza” or obtained at a “Vending machine” ended up classified as UPFs.” Moreover, the authors produce in the introduction that “UPFs, according to NOVA classification system, are industrial formulations of processed food substances (oils, fat, sugars, starch, and protein isolates) that have tiny or no total food items and ordinarily incorporate flavourings, colourings, emulsifiers, and other beauty additives. UPFs are getting to be dominant in eating plans globally and are changing traditional diets primarily based on unprocessed and minimally processed meals.
Of the complete analyze population at hand, UPFs ended up about half of all energy eaten but ranged from 30 to 70%.
“Cognitive overall performance was assessed making use of the Consortium to Build a Registry for Alzheimer’s Disorder (CERAD), Word Studying test, Animal Fluency exam, and the Digit Image Substitution examination (DSST).”
The Animal Fluency examination “evaluates categorical verbal fluency (executive perform).” “For the Animal Fluency exam, the participant is requested to title as numerous animals as attainable inside a 60-s [60 seconds, I assume] time period. Just about every animal corresponds to 1 place and the end result is presented as the overall sum of points.”
The test topics were being given two other checks of cognitive perform but the investigators found no distinctions in performance based on ultra-processed food stuff consumption. Listed here are these other two checks:
The two components of the CERAD Term Mastering examination consist of (1) 3 consecutive finding out trials, exactly where the participant is requested to remember a record of 10 unrelated phrases promptly immediately after their presentation. Each and every word corresponds to one place, and the consequence is introduced as a full rating across the three trials (array 0–30) and (2) a delayed phrase remember exam, done just after the two other cognitive tests. The end result ranges from to 10. … For the DSST, the participant is presented a single sheet of paper where they are asked to match a list of 9 symbols to figures in accordance to a essential situated on the top of the web site. The endeavor experienced 133 numbers and the participant had 2 min to entire it. The end result is revealed as the full selection of appropriate matches. For all the assessments, higher scores signify superior cognitive purpose.
The authors conclude: “Consumption of UPF was linked with even worse overall performance in Animal Fluency, a cognitive examination that assesses language and executive operate in older adults without pre-existing health conditions this sort of as CVD [cardiovascular disease] and diabetic issues, when no associations were being observed for those people with these circumstances. Even though longitudinal scientific studies are necessary to provide much better evidence, these success counsel that lowering UPF use may perhaps be a way to mitigate age-linked cognitive drop and lower the chance of dementia.”
I concur these outcomes are not extremely potent.
Steve Parker, M.D.
h/t Jan at The Low Carb Diabetic blog site