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    The Impact of the Mediterranean Diet on the Cognitive Functioning of Healthy Older Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

    Loughrey, David G. and Lavecchia, Sara and Brennan, Sabina and Lawlor, Brian A. and Kelly, Michelle E. (2017) The Impact of the Mediterranean Diet on the Cognitive Functioning of Healthy Older Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Advances in Nutrition, 8 (4). pp. 571-586. ISSN 2161-8313

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    Evidence from epidemiologic studies suggests a relation between the Mediterranean diet (MeDi) and cognitive function, but results are inconsistent. Prior reviews have not provided pooled data from meta-analysis of longitudinal studies and randomized controlled trials (RCTs), or they included younger adult participants. This systematic review and meta-analysis examines the impact of the MeDi on the cognitive functioning of healthy older adults. Fifteen cohort studies with 41,492 participants and 2 RCTs with 309 and 162 participants in intervention and control groups, respectively, were included. The primary outcome of interest was cognitive function, divided into domains of memory and executive function. Meta-analysis of cohort studies revealed a significant association between MeDi and older adults' episodic memory (n = 25,369, r = 0.01, P = 0.03) and global cognition (n = 41,492, r = 0.05, P ≤ 0.001), but not working memory (n = 1487, r = 0.007, P = 0.93) or semantic memory (n = 1487, r = 0.08, P = 0.28). Meta-analysis of RCTs revealed that compared with controls, the MeDi improved delayed recall (n = 429, P = 0.01), working memory (n = 566, P = 0.03), and global cognition (n = 429, P = 0.047), but not episodic memory (n = 566, P = 0.15), immediate recall (n = 566, P = 0.17), paired associates (n = 429, P = 0.20), attention (n = 566, P = 0.69), processing speed (n = 566, P = 0.35), or verbal fluency (n = 566, P = 0.12). The strongest evidence suggests a beneficial effect of the MeDi on older adults' global cognition. This article discusses the influence of study design and components of the MeDi on cognitive function and considers possible mechanisms.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: systematic review; meta-analysis; Mediterranean diet; cognitive functioning; healthy older adults;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Research Institutes > Human Health Institute
    Item ID: 11604
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Michelle Kelly
    Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2019 17:21
    Journal or Publication Title: Advances in Nutrition
    Publisher: Oxford University Press
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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