Journal of Public Health and Nutrition

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Research Article - Journal of Public Health and Nutrition (2021) Volume 4, Issue 3

Dietary intake and cognitive performance in Canadian community-dwelling older adults.

Diet-related health problems are on the rise as a result of poor dietary intake. The primary purpose of the study was to examine cognitive function differences between older adults who did and did not consume the recommended servings of specific food groups. The secondary purpose of the study was to examine the potential role the nutrients provided by food groups can have on cognitive function. A cross-sectional study was conducted with 35 community-dwelling older adults, aged 60 years and over at baseline. The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), Rey Complex Figure Test and Recognition (RCFT), Trail-Making Test (TMT), Victoria Stroop Test (VST), and the Digit Span Test (DST) were used to record performance on cognitive tasks. Dietary intake was collected using a five-day food intake record (FIR). An independent t-test was used to determine the differences between the frequency/incidence of food group consumption and cognitive function. Multiple regression was used to analyze the relationship between food nutrients and cognitive function. A total of 32 participants, 8 males and 24 females, completed the study. The average age and BMI were 70.59 (7.07) years old and 27.59 (4.45) kg/m2, respectively. No differences were found in cognitive task performance between the group who consumed and did not consume the recommended amount of servings per day in any of the food groups. However, a number of associations were found between the nutrients found in foods and cognitive function. A positive correlation was found between the level of vitamin D and the RCFT [r=0.348, p=0.051], and the MoCA [r=0.372, p=0.036]. A negative correlation was found between the level of calcium, poly fat, and protein and performance on VST with [r=-0.457, p=0.009]; [r=-0.412, p=0.019], and [r=-0.345, p=0.053], respectively. In addition, regression analyses revealed that calcium level may predict performance on VST [F (1,30)=7.908, p=0.009, R2=0.209]. Consumption of foods was associated with better performance on cognitive tasks but underlying mechanisms are still to be determined in a longitudinal and well-powered population-based intervention studies.

Author(s): Mariam R Ismail*, Alan W Salmoni

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