Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

With fat: What's good or bad for the heart, may be the same for the brain

Date:
May 18, 2012
Source:
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Summary:
According to new research, one "bad" fat -- saturated fat -- was found to be associated with worse overall cognitive function and memory in women over time. By contrast, a "good" fat -- mono-unsaturated fat was associated with better overall cognitive function and memory.

It has been known for years that eating too many foods containing "bad" fats, such as saturated fats or trans fats, isn't healthy for your heart. However, according to new research from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH), one "bad" fat -- saturated fat -- was found to be associated with worse overall cognitive function and memory in women over time. By contrast, a "good" fat -- mono-unsaturated fat was associated with better overall cognitive function and memory.

This study is published online by Annals of Neurology, a journal of the American Neurological Association and Child Neurology Society, on May 18, 2012.

The research team analyzed data from the Women's Health Study -- originally a cohort of nearly 40,000 women, 45 years and older. The researchers focused on data from a subset of 6,000 women, all over the age of 65. The women participated in three cognitive function tests, which were spaced out every two years for an average testing span of four years. These women filled out very detailed food frequency surveys at the start of the Women's Health Study, prior to the cognitive testing.

"When looking at changes in cognitive function, what we found is that the total amount of fat intake did not really matter, but the type of fat did," explained Olivia Okereke, MD, MS, BWH Department of Psychiatry.

Women who consumed the highest amounts of saturated fat, which can come from animal fats such as red meat and butter, compared to those who consumed the lowest amounts, had worse overall cognition and memory over the four years of testing. Women who ate the most of the monounsaturated fats, which can be found in olive oil, had better patterns of cognitive scores over time.

"Our findings have significant public health implications," said Okereke. "Substituting in the good fat in place of the bad fat is a fairly simple dietary modification that could help prevent decline in memory."

Okereke notes that strategies to prevent cognitive decline in older people are particularly important. Even subtle declines in cognitive functioning can lead to higher risk of developing more serious problems, like dementia and Alzheimer disease.

This work was supported by research grants and awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (HL043851 and HL080467); NIH/National Cancer Institute (CA047988); and NIH/National Institute on Aging (AG015933 and K08 AG029813).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Brigham and Women's Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Olivia I. Okereke, Bernard A. Rosner, Dae H. Kim, Jae H. Kang, Nancy R. Cook, JoAnn E. Manson, Julie E. Buring, Walter C. Willett, Francine Grodstein. Dietary fat types and 4-year cognitive change in community-dwelling older women. Annals of Neurology, 2012; DOI: 10.1002/ana.23593

Cite This Page:

Brigham and Women's Hospital. "With fat: What's good or bad for the heart, may be the same for the brain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 May 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120518081358.htm>.
Brigham and Women's Hospital. (2012, May 18). With fat: What's good or bad for the heart, may be the same for the brain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120518081358.htm
Brigham and Women's Hospital. "With fat: What's good or bad for the heart, may be the same for the brain." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120518081358.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) New findings suggest men with a certain type of baldness at age 45 are 39 percent more likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer. 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