Increased Unsaturated Fatty Acid Intake May Promote Brain Health in Aging Populations

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Research published in The Journal of Nutrition found that higher amounts of mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids are generally beneficial to cognitive health during the aging process while increased levels of n—3 fatty acids might only be helpful when someone has a sufficient amount of antioxidants. The study looked at a population of middle-aged French adults and examined their intake of unsaturated fatty acids and cognitive performance 13 years later, and tested for a modulating effect of antioxidant supplementation. In testing, total mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids and n—6 polyunsaturated fatty acids were positively associated with overall cognitive function, while n—3 polyunsaturated fatty acids only showed positive associations among supplemented participants, according to the study. Researchers said that it is important going forward to consider the interaction between these consumed nutrients, not just focus on specific nutrients meant for maintaining cognitive health or combating diseases such as dementia.

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