The foods we eat may have a direct impact on our cognitive acuity in our later years. This is the key finding of an Iowa State University research study spotlighted in an article published in the November 2020 issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
The study was spearheaded by principal investigator, Auriel Willette, an assistant professor in Food Science and Human Nutrition, and Brandon Klinedinst, a Neuroscience PhD candidate working in the Food Science and Human Nutrition department at Iowa State. The study is a first-of-its-kind large scale analysis that connects specific foods to later-in-life cognitive acuity.
I love chocolate, both light and dark, but don’t drink enough alcohol to make a difference. However, I know that there are lots of folks into the glass of red wine practice, so I thought I would share this with you.
Of course I would like to believe the scientists who claim that eating dark chocolate positively affects our wellbeing and that drinking moderate amounts of red wine improve our health. I like both dark chocolate and red wine and sometimes together to get a double wellness whammy. What’s not to like?
Question is are the scientists actually right? We have written numerous posts about claimed superfoods doing wonders to our health when it is actually the overall diet that is most important, not the individual components as such. Sure we have also fallen into the trap of praising some individual foods as the popular press did this time for fashionable dark chocolate and red wine. Even scientists want to get some attention.
Because few people in the Chianti region take supplements, the study’s lead author, Dr. Richard Semba of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine says the population provided a good way to study exactly what effect average amounts of resveratrol, found in a typical western diet, could have on health. “We expected to find at least something. But in regard to every single outcome, the results were negative,” he says of the findings published in JAMA Internal Medicine. Regardless of how much resveratrol, measured by its breakdown product in the urine, the participants had, their rates of heart disease, cancer, and early death were the same.
The compound, which has been linked to longevity, lower risk of heart disease and cancer, may not be such a wonder agent after all
Sometimes, health experts make it easy for us. Drink moderate amounts of red wine! Eat grapes and chocolate! That’s a diet most of us can get behind. But exactly why these things are good for us can get lost in the headlines. Also confusing is the fact that just because a food contains a certain nutrient or antioxidant does not mean that nutrient is present in any therapeutic amount in a single serving of a food. Take resveratrol, a hyped antioxidant found in the skin of red grapes that has been called a fountain of youth. That’s great news for wine lovers, right?
Not so fast. Resveratrol is a polyphenol, part of the good-for-you family of antioxidants that fight cellular aging and tamp down inflammation. Antioxidants…