Much salt and little physical exercise increase mental decline in the elderly
Elderly people who lead sedentary lifestyles and abuse sodium in their meals have a risk that goes beyond heart disease. Baycrest researchers in Toronto - in collaboration with the Institut Universitaire de Gériatrie de Montréal, McGill University and Université de Sherbrooke, Canada - found evidence that excess salt and lack of physical exercise are detrimental to cognitive health in the third age. The findings were in the online version of the journal Neurobiology of Aging.
The study followed the sodium intake and physical activity levels of 1,262 healthy elderly (men and women ages 67 to 84) from Quebec, Canada, for three years. The Mini-Mental State Examination was used during the first year, a questionnaire used to detect the intellectual deterioration, which served as reference for the rest of the period. Activity levels were measured using the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly, a scale that determines the daily activities practiced by the elderly.
Levels of sodium consumption were determined as high, medium or low based on a food frequency questionnaire each of them completed. Low sodium intake was defined as one that does not exceed 2,263mg / day; mean intake, 3,090mg / day; and high, 3,091 mg / day up (the maximum reached 8,098 mg / day).
The results showed that a diet rich in sodium, combined with little physical activity, is detrimental to the cognitive performance of older adults . Recently, results from other studies have shown that mental decline is associated with unhealthy lifestyle, as is the case of the study of the San Francisco VA Medical Center, USA, which states that more than 50% of cases In addition to being aware of early signs of Alzheimer's disease, a diet rich in oilseeds (such as nuts, nuts, and almonds), fish and vegetables significantly decrease a person's chance of developing Alzheimer's disease, according to a study by Columbia University in New York. This conclusion was drawn from the analysis by researchers of the diets of 2,148 American adults over 65 years of age. More than 35 million people in the world suffer from the disease, according to Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI).
During the four-year study period, 253 adults in the group developed Alzheimer's disease. It was then possible to discern a pattern: those whose diet included oilseeds, fish, poultry, fruits, vegetables and those who had less fat dairy and red meat were less likely to develop the disease.
According to American Alzheimer's Research Trust, adapting lifestyle as you get older - exercising regularly, paying attention to diet and maintaining an active social life - can reduce the risks of Alzheimer's. However, there is no diet or lifestyle that eliminates these risks altogether.
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