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Omega-3s, carotenoids and vitamins improve cognition

The usual way doctors measure nutrients in the diet is by a food questionnaire.

Here, researchers measured groups of nutrients circulating in the bloodstream—nutrient biomarker patterns (NBPs)—and compared them to several measures of brain function including general intelligence, executive function, memory, and brain network efficiency.

Doctors measured NBPs in 116 older adults with healthy cognition. Overall, five NBPs were linked to better cognitive performance: omega-3s and -6; lycopene; omega-3s alone; carotenoids; and the B vitamins riboflavin, folate, B12, and vitamin D.

Three NBPs were linked to better brain network efficiency: omega-6, omega-3s, and carotene. Also, omega-3s stimulated the brain region for general intelligence while omega-6 and lycopene stimulated the brain region controlling attention and executive function. Summarizing the results, doctors said the connection between brain network efficiency and cognitive performance has a direct link to the level of nutrients.  

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