Calorie Restriction Improves Memory

Another metric by which to measure the more rapid impacts of calorie restriction upon health: "The participants [underwent] memory tests before and after going on the diet. At the end of three months, the calorie-restricted group increased its scores by about 20 percent, while the performance in the other groups did not change. ... in addition to showing a boost in memory, the study also suggests that the same underlying mechanisms uncovered in animals could be at work in humans too. The researchers found that people who cut calories had improvements in several indicators of metabolic health, such as blood levels of insulin and C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation. In fact, the rise in cognitive test scores correlated with lower insulin levels. In animal studies, high insulin levels and low-grade inflammation - products of being overweight and of high calorie intake - have been shown to hamper cognitive function. ... limiting calories in mice boosts a molecule in the brain called BDNF, which has a key role in memory. Regular exercise, along with calorie restriction, also boosts the growth of new brain cells in mice. ... the current results [suggest] that those pathways from animal studies might also work in humans."

Link: http://www.technologyreview.com/printer_friendly_article.aspx?id=22023

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