This paper in the field of nutritional psychiatry proves, yet again, that you are what you eat. In a randomized control trial of 522 older adult participants (mean age 75) at high vascular risk, due to type-II diabetes, smoking, hypertension, dyslipidemia, overweight or family history of premature cardiovascular disease. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Of these participants, they were randomized to a Mediterranean diet (supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts, including walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts) or a low-fat control diet. Global cognition was evaluated using the Mini-Mental Status Exam and Clock Drawing Test. Both these tests are very common and quick assessments of cognitive function. They measure orientation, attention, recall, language, repetition, and executive function, including working memory and abstract thinking. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
A Mediterranean diet is characterized by high consumption of fruits, nuts, vegetables and seafood, with minimal red meat and dairy. It also includes a moderate intake of red wine! Participants were followed by 6.5 years. The MedDiet with olive oil and MedDiet with nuts had higher cognitive assessment scores versus control. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Martínez-Lapiscina E.H., Clavero P., Toledo, E., et al. (2013). Mediterranean diet improves cognition: the PREDIMED-NAVARRA randomised trial. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 84, 1318-1325. doi:10.1136/jnnp-2012-304792.