Nutrients & Brain Aging (2011)

This study investigated nutrients & brain aging. In this ground-breaking study, 104 healthy elderly people (with an average age of 87) had blood levels of 30 different nutrients measured. Mean age was 87 ± 10 years and 62% of subjects were female. Results suggested that two NBPs associated with more favourable cognitive and MRI measures: one high in plasma vitamins B (B1, B2, B6, folate, and B12), C, D, and E, and another high in plasma marine ω-3 fatty acids. A third pattern characterized by high trans fat was associated with less favourable cognitive function and less total cerebral brain volume. Depression attenuated the relationship between the marine ω-3 pattern and white matter hyperintensity volume.


Distinct nutrient biomarker patterns detected in plasma are interpretable and account for a significant degree of variance in both cognitive function and brain volume. Objective and multivariate approaches to the study of nutrition in brain health warrant further study. These findings should be confirmed in a separate population.

Click here for abstract.

Bowman GL, Silbert LC, Howieson D, Dodge HH, Traber MG, Frei B, Kaye JA, Shannon J, Quinn JF (2011) Nutrient biomarker patterns, cognitive function, and MRI measures of brain aging. Neurology Dec 28. [Epub ahead of print]