Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Older adults with too much salt in diet and too little exercise at greater risk of cognitive decline, study finds

Date:
August 23, 2011
Source:
Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care
Summary:
Older adults who lead sedentary lifestyles and consume a lot of sodium in their diet may be putting themselves at risk for more than just heart disease. A new study has found evidence that high-salt diets coupled with low physical activity can be detrimental to cognitive health in older adults.

Older adults who lead sedentary lifestyles and consume a lot of sodium in their diet may be putting themselves at risk for more than just heart disease.

A study led by researchers at Baycrest in Toronto -- in collaboration with colleagues at the Institut Universitaire de Gériatrie de Montréal, McGill University and the Université de Sherbrooke -- has found evidence that high-salt diets coupled with low physical activity can be detrimental to cognitive health in older adults.

The finding, which appears online in the journal Neurobiology of Aging, ahead of print publication, may have significant public health implications, emphasizing the importance of addressing multiple lifestyle factors that can impact brain health.

The study followed the sodium consumption and physical activity levels of 1,262 healthy older men and women (ages 67 -- 84) residing in Quebec, Canada, over three years. The adults were recruited from a large pool of participants in the Quebec Longitudinal Study on Nutrition and Successful Aging (NuAge).

While low sodium intake is associated with reduced blood pressure and risk of heart disease, this is believed to be the first study to extend the benefits of a low sodium diet to brain health in healthy older adults.

"We have generated important evidence that sodium intake not only impacts heart health, but brain health as well," said Dr. Alexandra Fiocco, a scientist with Baycrest's Kunin-Lunenfeld Applied and Evaluative Research Unit (KLAERU) and the study's lead investigator.

Health Canada's sodium reduction strategy recommends that people 14 years of age and older consume no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day in their diet. In the Baycrest study, senior participants were assessed as low, mid or high level sodium consumers based on a food frequency questionnaire they each completed. Low sodium intake was defined as not exceeding 2,263 mg/day; mid sodium intake 3,090 mg/day; and high sodium intake 3,091 and greater (this went as high as 8,098) mg/day.

Researchers used a modified Mini-Mental State Examination to measure cognitive function in participants at year one (baseline) and annually for three additional years. Physical activity levels were measured using the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly.

"The results of our study showed that a diet high in sodium, combined with little exercise, was especially detrimental to the cognitive performance of older adults," said Dr. Fiocco.

"But the good news is that sedentary older adults showed no cognitive decline over the three years that we followed them if they had low sodium intake."

"These data are especially relevant as we know that munching on high-salt processed snacks when engaged in sedentary activities, such as watching TV or playing in front of the computer, is a frequent pastime for many adults," said Dr. Carol Greenwood, a senior author on the study and internationally-renowned scientist in the field of nutrition and cognitive function in late life.

"This study addresses an additional risk associated with lifestyles that are highly apparent in North American populations."

With brain failure rates expected to rise significantly as Canada's large boomer demographic ages, educating the public about lifestyle changes that can help delay or prevent normal, age-related cognitive decline -- including adopting a healthier diet -- is a way to give people some control over how their brain health will hold up in later years, said Dr. Greenwood, senior scientist with Baycrest's KLAERU and professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto.

The study was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Alexandra J. Fiocco, Bryna Shatenstein, Guylaine Ferland, Hélène Payette, Sylvie Belleville, Marie-Jeanne Kergoat, José A. Morais, Carol E. Greenwood. Sodium intake and physical activity impact cognitive maintenance in older adults: the NuAge Study. Neurobiology of Aging, 2011; DOI: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2011.07.004

Cite This Page:

Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care. "Older adults with too much salt in diet and too little exercise at greater risk of cognitive decline, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110822111737.htm>.
Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care. (2011, August 23). Older adults with too much salt in diet and too little exercise at greater risk of cognitive decline, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110822111737.htm
Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care. "Older adults with too much salt in diet and too little exercise at greater risk of cognitive decline, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110822111737.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

AFP (Aug. 21, 2014) — Two American missionaries who were sickened with Ebola while working in Liberia and were treated with an experimental drug are doing better and have left the hospital, doctors say on August 21, 2014. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) — Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins