A sub-study has found that having a balanced diet and avoiding processed foods can slow down brain ageing. Researchers from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev have said that losing a little weight while following an 18-month dietary regime can keep the brain younger. This study is a part of the DIRECT-PLUS study, which introduced the notion of a Green-Mediterranean, high polyphenols diet. This diet varies from the old-style Mediterranean diet because it has more polyphenol-rich foods and fewer red and processed meat.
Participants of the study were given three to four cups of green tea, 28 grams of walnuts, and one mug of Mankai plant green shake of duckweed daily for over 18 months. Mankai is a suitable alternative for meat as it is rich in B12, iron, protein, and 200 forms of polyphenols.
Experts enrolled 102 obese participants from the DIRECT-PLUS trial
In the sub-study, experts enrolled 102 obese participants from the DIRECT-PLUS trial. Each participant underwent a brain scanning at the beginning and end of the study. Experts assessed many health factors like blood biomarkers during the study. They found that the brain age of the participants was around nine months younger after a 1 per cent of weight loss.
Additionally, younger brain age was linked to reduced liver fat and enzymes. Scientists identified an association between slower brain ageing and a lower intake of junk food, beverages, and sweets. Though, elevated intake of green tea and walnut did not show any effect on brain ageing.
One of the authors of the study, Prof. Galia Avidan has said even 1 per cent of weight loss is enough to impact brain health and can result in a 9-month decline in brain ageing. The study emphasizes on the significance of a healthy régime such as less intake of junk foods, beverages, and sweets.
The findings of the sub-study add to a growing body of evidence that dietary interventions for weight loss might positively affect brain ageing and can help experts find lifestyle changes that are advantageous for people with obesity.