“Eat less to remember more” is the prescription of the day for the elderly said Padma Shri & Dr. B.C. Roy National Awardee, Dr. KK Aggarwal, President, Heart Care Foundation of India.
A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, by Dr. Agnes Floel, assistant professor of Neurology at the University of Munster, has shown that memory and thinking skills improved among healthy, overweight subjects who cut their calorie intake by 30 percent over a three-month period.
Calorie restriction boosts memory and cognition by reducing insulin resistance and inflammation, which may be linked to age-related cognitive decline.
Improvements in memory could be especially important, because memory losses are an early indication of Alzheimer’s disease and its precursor, mild cognitive impairment.
The 49 men and women in the study had a mean age of 60.5 years and a body mass index of 28. Those in the calorie-restriction group were not told what to eat but were advised to cut portions and not to eat less than 1,200 calories daily.
The calorie restrictors lost an average of five pounds, with those who most closely adhered to the dietary recommendations losing an average of eight pounds. This subset with the largest weight loss also showed the biggest improvements in memory performance.