Do you know that sleep is as important as exercise and diet to your body? Sleep replenishes energy, makes you active and keeps you healthy lack of which can land you in much trouble than you could imagine. The advent of smartphone era and electronic gadgets has ruined our lifestyles, pushed our sleep hours dramatically to 12 or 1 o clock in the night and shift work has brought upon a culture where we eat and sleep anytime of the day or night without minding our natural body clocks and circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythms are integral to each of us regulating our sleep-wake cycles and feelings of sleepiness/wakefulness over a 24-hour period. It works based on the area of the brain that responds to light which clearly shows why we sleep when its dark and remain alert when the outside sun shines brightly. We humans have evolved into creatures who don’t listen to our parents, siblings, spouses or anyone else doing what we like and liking what we do. While we do understand the importance of sleep with regards to regular bed timings, wake up hours and sleep duration to keep us healthy we don’t monitor the same nor do we try doing it. The invention patented here comes to our rescue here as it helps in assisting and guiding the user to set goals that promote consistent sleeping behavior. In fact, the methods and techniques discussed here promote sleep consistency and improve sleep quality.
While the general recommended hours of sleep are between 7 and 9 hours sleep requirements and durations differ from person to person in order to lead a healthy life. The invention here comes with a personalized recommended sleep duration that’s more precise (for example, 8 hours ±0.5 hours) in comparison to 7-9 hours that’s recommended generally. A ‘sleep session’ is the period of time during which the individual is actually sleeping or attempting to sleep too. It depends on the sensors too-sensors might indicate the time beginning from when a person first enters the bed to sleep, the individual might manually indicate to a biometric monitoring device the beginning of a sleep session or when a processor determines that the individual has started to sleep. Likewise, the end of the sleep session might be noted when the person exits a bed, the individual manually notes the end of the sleep session on the biometric monitoring device or again, if the processor has determined when the person stops sleeping. The start and end time of sleep sessions depend on the criteria used to determine the parameters. Wearable fitness trackers such as Fitbit might be treated as biometric monitoring devices to collect biometric sensor data or it might even be sleep-monitoring systems attached to mattresses or even operating from somewhere close by such as from a nightstand or so.
An individual goes through different states such as awake state, asleep state, waking state, etc., Again in sleep state the individual might be in REM or non-REM state and its not mandatory that an individual passes through each of the states while sleeping and the sleep duration determines the amount of time an individual spends in one or more sleep states that represent one or more stages of sleep. The biometric monitoring device might determine the time spent in each of the sleep states. After obtaining sleep parameters such as selected sleep duration, scheduled waketime and selected bedtime along with the individual’s selected sleep duration the individual’s sleep schedule may be tracked to find out how consistently the individual is meeting sleep duration goals. Sometime down the line the individual’s scheduled waketime and selected bedtime might also be clocked. Sleep monitoring is done by storing the sleep data in a sleep log data store that associates logs with specific users and sleep efficiency is calculated by monitoring the total time in a sleep session that an individual is in one or more sleep states or is not in an awake state divided by the sleep session duration. For instance if an individual goes to bed at 10.00 pm and falls asleep after 30 minutes, wakes up through the night for a total of 30 minutes and finally wakes up at 6.00 am in the morning the total time duration in bed is 8 hours (10.00 pm to 6.00 am) but he/she was actually sleeping (non-awake state) only for 7 hours (excluding 30 minutes to fall asleep and 30 minutes of waking up through the night). The sleep efficiency of the individual is 7 hours divided by 8 hours which is 0.875. Sleep efficiency changes based on different factors such as sleep environment, physiology, caffeine intake, timing at which the person retires to bed and so on. For example, if the person goes to bed early then he/she is less tired and spends more time trying to fall asleep but if the person goes to bed later, he/she is more tired and falls asleep more easily. In practice, sleep efficiency is always lesser than 1.
The invention displays a bedtime reminder in advance to remind the user to go to bed. Sometimes, snooze option in the reminder is also possible and the reminder is generally set based on the sleep state duration data of the user for the previous sleep session. The user might even be congratulated after a sleep session in which the user achieves bedtime target. The invention is of paramount importance as it guides the user and sets the user’s sleeping routine in a disciplined way. The patent was published on December 7th, 2017 and for more information on the patent please visit:
United States Patent & Trademark Office: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=2&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=%22sleep+consistency%22&s2=%22jacob+antony%22&OS=%22sleep+consistency%22+AND+%22jacob+antony%22&RS=%22sleep+consistency%22+AND+%22jacob+antony%22
World Intellectual Property Organization: https://patentscope.wipo.int/search/en/detail.jsf?docId=US206639948&_cid=P11-JYSF1P-05579-1
European Patent Office: https://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?DB=EPODOC&II=0&ND=3&adjacent=true&locale=en_EP&FT=D&date=20171207&CC=US&NR=2017352287A1&KC=A1
The world is becoming vegan-friendly as a greater number of individuals have started adopting a vegetarian/vegan diet. Ironically, the shift is seen prominently in non-vegetarians who have started following a vegetarian diet owing to several personal reasons whereas, increasing number of vegetarians are turning out to be chicken, meat and fish lovers. Call it open-mindedness, an interest to explore different cuisines or simply the urge to do something forbidden, this transition wasn’t expected! As we see vegetarian, semi-vegetarian and even the stricter vegan diet that excludes even dairy and eggs apart from meat and fish becoming popular their nutritive quality and the ability to satisfy nutrient requirements have always been questioned. People adopt a vegan/vegetarian diet owing to different reasons and the most famous of all is health. These people believe that avoiding consumption of animal products helps prevent the risk of bacterial and other foodborne diseases and also avoid excess intake of saturated fat cholesterol and sodium. There are some who believe a plant-based diet to be rich in nutrients, phytochemicals, fiber and flavonoids, some who don’t eat due to their opposed view on the slaughter of animals for food and others who don’t eat simply due to religious beliefs.
Vegetarian diets are rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds and soy foods and their characteristics have maximum benefits on the heart, have been associated for a long time with reduced blood pressure rates, reduced inflammation and have also decrease the risk of diabetes, cancer, renal diseases, rheumatoid arthritis and even obesity. Obesity has always been linked to various co-morbidities but the underlying mechanism for these isn’t clear. We have data linking adipose tissue inflammation and chronic diseases associated with obesity. Adipose tissue macrophages (ATMs), especially pro-inflammatory macrophages (M1 ATMs) are linked with insulin resistance. What remains a mystery is whether the accumulation of ATMs in human beings is only related to fat gain or whether it is related to diet also. Ceramides, a family of lipid molecules composed of sphingosine and a fatty acid, is found in high concentration within cell membrane of cells and has often been linked to inflammation and insulin resistance in muscle cell models. Increased exposure to saturated fatty acids shows increase in ceramide levels in rodents and these molecules have also been linked to adverse muscle profiles in humans. In such a scenario, researchers wanted to know whether pursuing a vegetarian diet would benefit the obese individual such that he/she would have less adipose inflammation and reduced muscle ceramide content in comparison to similar obese individuals who follow a non-vegetarian diet.
The adipose tissue is a complex organ that comprises of a variety of cell types with diverse energy stores, metabolic regulation and neuroendocrine and immune functions. When obesity strikes, the adipose tissue succumbs to disorders, its function and distribution is affected and also has effects on cytokine, lipid storage and composition of adipose-resident immune cell population causing advanced consequences on inflammation and insulin sensitivity. Earlier studies detected lipid composition differences of adipose tissue in rats which were fed a diet rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Linolenic acid is the major PUFA present in human adipose tissue and allows estimation of the stored essential fatty acid. The fatty acid composition of the adipose tissue is closely connected to the dietary fat content and studies show that individuals on a long-term vegan diet display increased composition of PUFAs and reduced levels of saturated fatty acids compared to omnivores and even vegetarians.
Study on whether A Vegetarian Diet Leads to Less Adipose Inflammation
The study included 16 participants among which 8 of them were vegetarians and 8 were omnivores. All the participants were of the same age and BMI without any chronic conditions such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease. All the vegetarian participants assured following a vegetarian/vegan diet for at least last 5 years and among these 8 participants 2 of them were vegans, one was a lacto-ovo vegetarian, one was a pescatarian and four were lacto-vegetarians. Blood samples were taken, a food frequency questionnaire was given and subcutaneous abdominal and femoral adipose tissue biopsies were collected using a needle liposuction technique. Muscle biopsies were also collected and tested for sphingolipids concentration. Plasma total free fatty acid (FFA) concentrations were measured and plasma IL-6 and TNF concentrations were measured. Fat cell size was measured and composition of fatty acids in tissue lipids were also assessed by extracting tissue lipids. For immunohistochemistry (IHC), adipose tissue samples were taken and viewed under a microscope. Two observers took 10 random images of the slide and counted the number of positively stained macrophages, crown-like structures (CLS) and total adipocytes for each image. Resulting data was expressed in terms of number of positive cells per 100 adipocytes. RNA samples were isolated from abdominal and femoral adipose samples for all omnivores and 5 of 8 vegetarians and analyzed.
Both the groups did not differ greatly with respect to age, BMI, body composition or blood pressure. Fasting plasma insulin concentrations, plasma IL-6 and TNF concentrations did not differ between the 5 omnivores and vegetarians taken for sampling. The answers in the FFQ helped researchers to confirm that vegetarians adhered to a plant-based diet and also could find out no significant difference in macronutrient and micronutrient intake among vegetarian subtypes. Total calorie intake showed not much of a difference between the two groups; total saturated fat intake was lesser in the vegetarian group but there was no difference found in the case of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat intake between the two groups. Individuals following an omnivorous diet consumed more of cholesterol and vitamin D while vegetarians ate more of fiber and vitamin C.
Vegetarians had more of oleate in the abdominal depot than omnivores and also had more of oleic, palmitelaidic, linolenic and myristic fatty acids in the femoral depot. Plasma FFA palmitate occupied a lesser percent of total FFA in vegetarians compared to omnivores while other fatty acids did not show any significant difference. Both the groups did not show any difference in the abdominal or femoral adipose tissue depot macrophage burden and the number of abdominal adipose tissue macrophages was also not different when expressed per 100 adipocytes. Vegetarians had fewer femoral CD68 and CD14 macrophages compared to omnivores. Omnivores had more CD206 macrophages in femoral fat than vegetarians. Adipose tissue TNF mRNA expression was greater in omnivores than vegetarians but there was no significant difference in femoral adipose tissue expression of either TNF mRNA or IL-6 mRNA between the two groups.
There was no difference seen in muscle ceramide concentrations between the two groups nor any significant correlation found between adipose tissue macrophage burden and intake of total calories, total fat, saturated fat or polyunsaturated fat. Trans-fat and added sugars intake were correlated with total macrophage burden and there was a positive correlation between abdominal CD206 macrophage and monounsaturated fat intake and omega-3 fatty acid intake. The study clearly shows that individuals following a vegetarian diet for at least 5 years consume less saturated fat and is also linked with reduced femoral adipose tissue inflammation.
For all those of you who have been struggling to succeed with a switch over from your favorite non-vegetarian diet to a vegetarian diet, this article would definitely be a motivating factor to continue your endeavor as it is not only good for health, helps in weight loss and reduces the risk of diseases but also helps in sustainable living.
Preliminary Evidence for Reduced Adipose Tissue Inflammation in Vegetarians Compared with Omnivores: https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12937-019-0470-2
In Vivo NMR, Applications, Other Nuclei: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/adipose-tissue
21st century is the age of technology and the adorable MTS baby ad (the baby starts using technology right after getting out of the mother’s womb) would be a reality-don’t you think (or rather fear!) so at least in a couple of decades? Kids and adolescents grow up surrounded by digital information and entertainment with the means of computers, tablets, smartphones and televisions. These young people spend more time online rather than spending quality time with family and friends. The digital world is full of amazement and surprises for these kids who love interacting with virtual friends, make friends without inhibitions as they need not bother about their physical appearance and have lots of fun playing games to which they get addicted to in course of time. The world outside is cunning and business minded. It loves to exploit the children’s weaknesses by developing sensational games that kids would love to explore, play repeatedly and finally shell out money purchasing different apps or unlocking levels. The days of football and basketball are fast disappearing as kids lock themselves in their rooms focused on the tablet or laptop for hours together. This indeed raises the concerns of health professionals and parents who are of the concept that prolonged screen time is bad for health especially with the magazines and the media reporting their harmful effects every other day on sleep, diet, social life and family life. But research studies are not many as many of them mostly include negative behavior such as snacking, sedentariness and socioeconomic grouping too as factors in their study.
We do have evidences that increased screen time is associated with obesity, decreased time available for exercise, increase in energy intake and reduction of metabolic rate. There are also side effects such as irritability, mood disorders and poor cognitive performance all of which affect academic performance. Such factors affect quality of life and there have been several guidelines proposed for reducing screen time-the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2015 recommended limiting screen time for children aged 2-5 years to an hour everyday and for those above 6 years it is up to the parents to rationally decide upon a fixed screen time for their children. The Canadian Pediatric Society too came up with similar guidelines in 2017. While time and again we have been insisting on limiting or preventing infants and toddlers from being introduced to gadgets and technology it is depressing to realize that the use of media has only been rising steadily for the past 5-10 years. Kaiser Family Foundation Studies report in 2010 suggested that behavior of 2,000 8-18-year-old kids showed that most of them spent around 7.5 hours daily on media where around 4.31 hours was spent viewing television, 2.31 hours listening to music, 1.29 hours on computer and 1.13 hours playing video games. Yet another study found that youngsters aged around 18 years spent nearly 40 hours every week accessing Internet from home computers.
In order to exactly find the effect of these things on kids a review of reviews (RoR) was taken on children and young people (CYP).
Review of Reviews
The review study question was ‘What is the evidence for health and well-being effects of screen time in children and adolescents?’
Based on different criteria finally 13 studies were included in the review-6 of them considered the association of screen time with body composition measures (including obesity), three for diet and energy intake, seven for mental health related outcomes like self-esteem and quality of life, four for cardiovascular risk, four for fitness, three for sleep and one for pain and one for asthma. We will take up each of these one by one.
Body Composition: Most of them were associated with television screentime. Most of the studies unanimously reported increased screen time with increase of overweight/obesity over time. Carsen et al reported that increased adiposity measure was associated with computer screentime in almost 3/4th of the studies but the same team could not find any association between video/videogame screentime and adiposity. In another study Ekris et al reported that across 6971 participants from five prospective cohorts BMI at follow-up was not linked to every added hour of computer viewing. While there is moderate evidence that higher screen time is associated with greater adiposity there is not enough evidence for an association with overall screen time or non-television screentime.
Diet & Energy Intake: Screentime in the absence of food commercials still resulted in elevated dietary intake and television screentime increased the consumption of palatable energy-dense foods while evidences were weak for video game screentime. Costigan et al reported that screentime did not promote healthy eating behavior, Pearson and Biddle showed that television screentime was associated with total energy intake and energy dense drinks. Here again, we have moderate evidence linking screentime with high energy intake and less healthy diet quality.
Mental Health & Well-being: There was moderate association between anxiety and screentime while positive association between screentime and depression. High rates of depression were linked to ≥2 hours of screentime daily. Carsen et al reported that screentime and behavioral problems were positively associated in 24 studies. There was a positive association between screentime and poorer psychological well-being and quality of life.
Physical Health: There was weak association between screentime and cardiovascular risk factor generally. While Costigan et al reported that higher screen time was associated with higher physical activity two other reviews found an inverse association between both. CYP cognition and development were examined in three medium-quality reviews. LeBlanc et al conveyed that there was low-quality evidence that television screentime had negative impact on cognitive development in young children. Many studies acclaimed that there was weak evidence that greater television time was associated with poorer educational attainments.
Sleep: There was weak association between screentime and sleep outcomes in all types of media exposure including computer, video screentime and mobile phone screentime. Pain was studied in very few studies and those showed a weak association between screentime and increase in neck/shoulder pain. Likewise, there was insufficient evidence linking asthma with television screentime.
This research shows that increased screentime was positively linked with a variety of health harms for CYP having strongest evidence for adiposity, unhealthy diet, depressive symptoms and quality of life.
Association between screen time & psychological well-being
We have a study where the effects of screentime on psychological well-being was specifically measured on 44,734 children and adolescents 2 years of age and older in the US in the National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) conducted in 2016. All the children were between 2 and 17 years of age and were grouped into four categories: Preschoolers 2-5 years old (9361), elementary schoolers 6-10 years old (10,668), middle schoolers 11-13 years old (7555) and high schoolers 14-17 years old (12,753). Two questions on screentime were asked to caregivers (who are the participants here):
Studies show depressing results in terms of life skill development in children. More number of children between 2 and 5 years of age could use technology in a better way than demonstrate skills such as riding a cycle, swimming or tying their shoelace. Lack of enough playtime with traditional toys such as building blocks showed that language development is affected greatly. When toddlers (between 18 and 30 months of age) played building blocks with their caretaker, these toddlers showed improved language scores comparatively. Also, children who view television are captured by the attractiveness of the visual images and colors but mostly forget to pay attention to the storyline thereby failing to learn much from these fictional TV episodes.
More time spent viewing per day at ages one and three were associated with attention problems at age seven. Excessive use of television, video games and computer was linked to excess use of tobacco and cigarettes, early sexual debut, sleep deprivation especially when there is a television set in the bedroom (these kids score 7-8 points lower in math tests compared to those without a TV in the bed room), violent behavior not only that’s physical but also verbal, depressive symptoms and anxiety. A study from UCLA showed that screentime was associated with identifying emotional cues of individuals. Study compared a group of people in a nature camp who went without screentime for five consecutive days to another group who were bound to attend the camp later. The first group of people displayed improved emotional cognitive abilities just five days after the camp. The increase in screentime impairs social skills and affects the ability of people to understand emotions of other people.
Screentime definitely impairs social development, emotional intelligence, cognitive improvements and overall quality of life. Kids lose the personal touch with other individuals and fall in love with the virtual world ignoring the presence of the people around him/her. It is 100% essential to control screen time in children and help them enjoy a better quality of life.
Effects of screentime on the health and well-being of children and adolescents: https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/9/1/e023191
Association between screentime and lower psychological well-being among children and adolescents: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6214874/
The impact of media use and screen time on children, adolescents and families: https://www.acpeds.org/the-college-speaks/position-statements/parenting-issues/the-impact-of-media-use-and-screen-time-on-children-adolescents-and-families
The world might be dominated by youngsters owing to their attitude and behavior but speaking mathematically, we are dominated by older adults. Look around and you are sure to see a greater number of older adults everywhere around you. This segment of people seems to be the fastest growing segment in the world and they outnumber kids aged under five in both developing and developed countries. From a humble 500 million this number is expected to spike up to almost 1.5 billion by 2050. Due to such growth in the global elderly population there seems to be a sharp rise in cognitive decline and dementia rates which are emerging to be one of the greatest public health problems faced by the world. Ageing is associated with memory issues and however sharp our memory skills might be during our younger years we tend to forget things, names and issues as we grow old. Its not a rarity to see our parents search for their reading glasses everywhere in the house while it is sitting right in their neck, grandmas often look around for their knitting needle while it is present right in the cloth and our grandpas keep repeatedly enquiring about their term deposits irrespective of the fact that its being handled well by their children. All these are not abnormal and I would call it part of the ageing process. Cognitive decline might include these things that are a regular part of normal ageing, mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or severe dementia with the last being the most excruciating experience by those undergoing the phase and those staying with the patient as well. Dementia rates have been steadily rising and the numbers are projected to be anywhere around 81.1 million by 2040. Dementia is a disease that not only affects the person involved but also places significant burden on the caretaker, affects the quality of life of both the individual affected and his/her families and above all, places significant burden on health care resources.
Despite such worldwide prevalence of dementia, we don’t have any cure for it until now and rely on pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches to minimize symptoms and delay the progression of the disease. Coming up with effective preventive strategies that could delay dementia and identifying modifiable risk factors that could prevent cognitive decline and improve the lives of the elderly is the need of the hour. Diet is one of the most potential non-pharmacological approaches to ageing successfully and we do have a number of studies showing that nutrition plays a pivotal role in having a positive effect on dementia. Time and again we have seen positive data emerging on the association between nutrients such as antioxidants, folate, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids but not much studies have focused on the effect of dairy foods and milk in altering dementia risk. We are going to see analysis and studies that help us get a clearer picture on the impact of dairy on dementia risk.
While dementia is the last stage of cognitive disability cognitive decline is the first stage and MCI exists in between these two. Many individuals experience subjective cognitive decline (SCD) before moving on to greater cognitive impairment. SCD is a preclinical sign of Alzheimer’s and can happen before cognitive impairment.
Dementia Risk & Dairy Consumption: A Review
A database search was done based on search terms such as dairy, milk, yogurt, food, intake, consumption, cognition, cognitive decline, cognitive performance, cognitive function, cognitive state, mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s, depression and mental illness. While the search resulted in 216 studies only 30 of them were relevant. But 22 papers were omitted as they were either on soy, vitamin D or milk probiotics, they did not include cognitive measures, indicated only dairy intake and survival risk or were reviews. Finally, only 8 papers suited the study purpose all of them consisting of three cross-sectional and 5 prospective studies (study duration was 3.3 years to 30 years). Six studies included both males and females, 1 study included only males and 1 study included only females with sample sizes between 449 and 4,809 in all of them. While the participants were all middle-aged to elderly people some studies employed only those above the age of 60. One cross-sectional and five prospective studies used a food frequency questionnaire to assess dietary intake while the other cross-sectional studies used a 24-hour dietary recall.
Two cross sectional and one prospective study reported benefits due to dairy consumption with respect to dementia risk. In cross-sectional studies, decreased dairy or milk intake was linked to poorer cognitive function in elderly women with no difference found in the case of men. Greater the cheese intake lower was the risk of cognitive impairment in the elderly population but 2 studies showed no link between milk intake and dementia risk. One prospective study showed that milk intake was linked to risk of vascular dementia in older age in both men and women. Three studies found a negative link between dairy and dementia risk. The CAIDE study showed that the fat intake from the milk and dairy products were linked to a greater risk of dementia, MCI, AD and other cognitive inabilities. It showed that higher fat intake was associated with increased risk of MCI and poorer cognitive function but not with dementia or AD risk. Another Australian study on elderly men showed that consumption of full-fat milk was associated with impaired cognitive function and the third study showed that increased consumption of dairy desserts and ice creams was linked with increased risk of cognitive decline among French women. In general, two studies found that whole-fat milk consumption was associated with poor mental health in elderly men whereas decreased milk intake was linked to depressive symptoms. While 3 studies suggest that dairy consumption has beneficial effects on cognitive function there are 4 studies that show that consumption of dairy products is associated with cognitive decline in the elderly which leaves us in an inconclusive state.
Effect of Dairy Consumption on the People of North America
Age-related cognitive decline is often seen in areas such as executive functioning, attention, processing speed, episodic memory and visuo-spatial functioning. Memory-related cognitive impairment increases with age affecting up to 50% adults aged 65-74 years compared to 88% of older adults aged 85 years and above. In the case of sematic and implicit memory cognitive function remains intact.
Milk, cheese and yogurt are rich sources of vitamin B12, vitamin D and alpha-lactalbumin-this results in bioactive peptides when partially hydrolyzed and in tryptophan and cysteine when fully hydrolyzed. These components are what help in cognitive function directly or indirectly. Directly, they increase the production of ‘serotonin’ which helps in mood regulation and cognitive function and also to improve deficiencies and abnormalities in older adults’ cognitive function. Indirectly, dairy components work by mediating effects on cardiometabolic health. Dairy products and milk consumption help in improving cardiovascular health by negating any risk factors linked with metabolic syndrome. This change in cardiometabolic health imparted by high dairy intake might be the primary way through which dairy products impair cognitive decline. A study was conducted on 32 participants (8 males and 24 females) whose average age was 70.59 years. Dietary feedback was taken and disappointingly only 10 participants reported consumption of the recommended amount of dairy (3 servings per day) and the remaining 22 participants had only one or two servings per day. Almost 85% of all the participants took dietary supplements, most of them took 13% saturated fats which was way above recommendations (7%) and had their cholesterol level well within recommendations (<300 mg per day). All of them had normal cognitive function and were physically fit.
Number of Dairy Product Servings & Cognitive Performance: Tests were done to find differences between those individuals consuming <3 and >3 servings of dairy per day but results showed no differences in any of the cognitive tests.
Dairy Product Nutrient Intake & Effect on Cognitive Performance: Dairy products contain saturated fats, vitamin D and calcium and the effect of these nutrients on cognitive performance was assessed. While saturated fat was negatively associated with cognitive performance there was a positive correlation between vitamin D intake and performance on three cognitive tests. Calcium in dairy products showed no positive or negative correlation with any of the cognitive tests performed. Linear regression analyses showed that none of the nutrients were predictors on any of the cognitive tests.
Nutrients from dietary intake including dairy were uniquely associated with specific cognitive functions in older men and women.
A Meta-analysis on the Impact of Dairy Intake on Dementia
Search was carried out on three different databases to pick out those studies that compared dairy consumption and its effect on cognitive function (including those in any stage of dementia and having any type of dementia). The database came up with 2407 results and after several elimination rounds only 8 articles (1 randomized control trial (RCT) and 7 prospective cohort studies) were included in the study.
RCT: Participants in the RCT were fed a low-dairy (one serving of reduced-fat dairy food everyday) diet or a high-dairy diet (four servings of reduced-fat dairy food daily) for six months followed by an alternate diet for another 6 months without any washout period. Verbal memory, processing speed, working memory, visual attention, verbal fluency, abstract reasoning, selective reasoning, executive function and psychological well-being were used to measure cognitive performance among which only backward spatial spin working memory showed significant difference between high-dairy and low-dairy diet groups.
Cohort Studies: Two studies analyzed dairy and milk intake and its effect on cognitive function among older individuals after 5-20 years of follow-up in France and US. One study analyzed milk intake using a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) and another analyzed dairy and milk intake using a 24-h recall. Two studies analyzed the impact using tools that predict cognitive function and both of them showed mixed results. While the first study showed that higher milk intake was associated with poor memory performance the other study showed that higher milk intake was negatively associated with executive function with no effect on verbal learning, short-term memory, executive function or expressive language. One cohort study found that regular consumption of full-cream milk decreased successful mental health ageing compared to rare consumption group, two studies showed no impact of dairy or milk consumption on cognitive decline and meta-analysis results did not show significant differences in risk for cognitive decline or cognitive impairment by comparing highest milk intake to lowest intake groups.
Two studies analyzed the impact of dairy on people with Alzheimer’s disease and their results were inconsistent. One study showed that consuming milk less than twice a week was not associated with the risk of developing Alzheimer’s compared to drinking milk daily or 2-4 times a week. The other study showed that higher consumption of milk and dairy intake significantly reduced the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Two studies analyzed the risk of vascular dementia and just like the study on Alzheimer’s the results of these were inconsistent. One study analyzed the effect of dairy consumption on all-cause dementia and showed no significant link between dairy/milk consumption and risk for developing all-cause dementia.
Overall, the evidences are inconsistent with each other and it is not enough to show that dairy and milk consumption does have an effect on cognitive decline/dementia. Still, dairy is an important food group that ought to be included in our daily meals for nutrients and good health.
Review of Dairy Consumption & Cognitive Performance in Adults: https://www.karger.com/Article/PDF/320987
The Relationship between Dairy Product Consumption & Cognitive Performance in a Group of Community-dwelling Healthy Older Adults: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/7c2b/39d304985a3deec6eaf11478df9df733d3b6.pdf
Role of Milk & Dairy Intake in Cognitive Function in Older Adults: https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12937-018-0387-1
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