Source: Neurology, May 2, 2012: [Epub ahead of print]
Research: The widely reported associations between various nutrients and cognition may occur through many biologic pathways including those of β-amyloid (Aβ). However, little is known about the possible associations of dietary factors with plasma Aβ40 or Aβ42. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between nutrient intake and plasma Aβ levels. In this cross-sectional study, plasma Aβ40 and Aβ42 and dietary data were obtained from 1219 cognitively healthy elderly (age >65 years), who were participants in a community-based multiethnic cohort. Information on dietary intake was obtained 1.2 years, on average, before Aβ assay. The associations of plasma Aβ40 and Aβ42 levels and dietary intake of 10 nutrients were examined, including saturated fatty acid, monounsaturated fatty acid, omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA), omega 6 PUFA, vitamin E, vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin B12, folate and vitamin D.
Results: In unadjusted models that simultaneously included all nutrients, higher intake of omega 3 PUFAs was associated with lower levels of Aβ40 and lower levels of Aβ42. According to these results, researchers concluded that higher dietary intake of omega 3 PUFAs is associated with lower plasma levels of Aβ42, a profile linked with reduced risk of incident Alzheimer’s disease and slower cognitive decline.