Higher Mediterranean Diet scores are not cross-sectionally associated with better cognitive scores in 20- to 70-year-old Dutch adults: The NQplus study

E.M. Brouwer, Anita Benati, A.M. van de Wiel, L. van Lee, J.H.M. de Vries, E.J.M. Feskens, O. van de Rest*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Adherence to the Mediterranean Diet (MedDiet) has been suggested to reduce
the risk of age-related cognitive decline. Therefore, we hypothesized that
adults consuming a more Mediterranean-like diet were more likely to have
better cognitive scores. We investigated cross-sectional associations between
MedDiet adherence and cognitive performance using data of 1607 Dutch men
and women aged 20–70 years. Dietary intake was assessed using a 183-item
Food Frequency Questionnaire. MedDiet adherence was defined by a 0–9 point
scale; which was based on intakes of vegetables, legumes, fruits/nuts, cereals,
fish/seafood, meat/poultry, dairy, ethanol and the MUFA:SFA ratio. Cognitive
function was assessed with a neuropsychological test battery. Linear regression
analyses adjusted for relevant covariates showed a significant inverse association
between MedDiet adherence and everyday memory: specifically β = −0.107
± 0.046 points (P = .02) for the total population and β = −0.139 ± 0.055 points
(P = .01) for those aged ≥50 years. Further exploration of the individual MedDiet
food groups suggested that the association between MedDiet and everyday
memory was predominantly driven by the MUFA:SFA ratio. Moreover, associations were observed between higher ethanol intake better semantic memory and language production (β = 0.016 ± 0.008 P = .05), higher
vegetable intake with better processing speed (β = 0.005 ± 0.002, P = .02), and
higher legumes intake with poorer processing speed (β = −0.014 ±0.006, P = 03). Thus, in this Dutch cohort, higher MedDiet adherence was associated with poorer everyday memory.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-89
JournalNutrition Research
Volume59
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018

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