Cutting Calories Boosts Brain Power

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Cutting Calories Boosts Brain Power

A new study from the University of Muenster in Germany showed that seniors who ate a healthy reduced-calorie diet not only lost weight, but had significantly improved brain function.

In the study, a group of normal- to slightly-overweight women ages 50 to 80 were given a verbal memory test. 20 of the women were then placed on a diet that reduced their daily caloric intake by 30% for three months. Another group increased their intake of unsaturated fatty acids, while the remaining women ate their usual amount of calories.

The results showed that the women on the reduced-calorie diet not only lost weight, but also gained an unexpected 20% increase in their scores on the memory tests. Meanwhile, the women in the other two groups showed no increase in their verbal memory.
Researchers suspect that the women who cut calories became more sensitive to insulin and a reduction in the molecule called C-reactive protein, both of which have been linked to increased brain function. A leaner diet also cuts the risk of obesity and Type 2 diabetes, which can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

But doctors say that seniors shouldn’t try and lose too much weight too fast, because it can increase your risk of malnutrition, and also the risk of falls and fractures. They note that getting regular exercise can have the same positive effect on brain function, while also helping you to burn those extra calories.

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