Changes in Diet and Exercise Could Delay Cognitive Decline

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A recent study published in Communications Biology suggests that changes in diet and exercise could delay age-related cognitive decline. The study suggests that this relates to genetic variations in nutrient sensing pathways. This research has potential to go beyond lifestyle changes and could help development of new drugs for cognitive decline. Lead author, Chiara de Lucia, from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King’s College London, stated, “identifying these genes as the missing links between these three important variables could inform new approaches to help improve the aging process through targeted changes in diet and exercise and ultimately in developing new drugs.”

Senior author, Dr. Sandrine Thuret, explained how the potential changes will differ by person, “our findings suggest that changes in lifestyle may be able to delay a decline in memory and thinking but that the effectiveness of these approaches will depend on the genetic makeup of each person.” For example, those with particular variants of one gene may benefit from a Mediterranean diet, whereas those with variations of another gene may benefit from more exercise.

In 2018, dieting hit an all time industry high estimated at $72 billion in the United States alone. The reason for this is often that people are eating for weight loss and not for health. As always, new studies can lead to new discoveries and new information, however, it is advisable to consider your overall health and the advice of your doctor when making decisions about your diet and exercise plan.