In a recent study that evaluated the diets of participants and their brain MRI scans from the Rotterdam Study, it was determined that a better diet quality related to larger brain volume in specific tissues and regions of the brain.

A diet quality score was calculated reflecting adherence to Dutch dietary guidelines, and brain MRI was performed to obtain information on brain tissue volumes and micro bleeds (micro strokes). The associations of diet quality score and separate food groups with brain structures were assessed using complex mathematical calculations.

A high intake of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, dairy, and fish along with a low intake of sugar-containing beverages were associated with larger brain volumes.   

Researchers also suggested that the effect of nutrition on neurodegeneration may act via brain structure.  More research on this subject is needed to unravel direct versus indirect effects between diet quality and brain health.” 

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Ref.:  Croll PH, Voortman T, Ikram MA, Franco OH, Schoufour JD, Bos D, Vernooij MW.  Better diet quality relates to larger brain tissue volumes. Neurology May 2018, 10.1212/WNL.0000000000005691; DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000005691

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