In a large-scale study of aging Chinese adults, researchers from the University of South Australia looked for possible correlations between the consumption of nuts and cognition levels of an aging population. They uncovered an inverse relationship between the number of nuts consumed and the decline of cognitive function in the participants. They published their discovery in The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging.
The prospective open cohort study involved 4,822 adults aged 55 years old and over. The participants came from the China Health Nutrition Survey from 1991 to 2006.
The participants underwent testing for their global cognitive function during 1997, 2001, 2004, and 2006. A part of the revised Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status served as the questionnaire. Participants who scored less than seven points during the test were considered to have poor cognition.
The nut intake of the population was gathered using the three-day 24-hour recall approach in 1991 and 1993 and as part of the surveys in 1997, 2001, 2004, and 2006. The correlation between nut consumption and the cognitive function of the participants were evaluated using regression analysis techniques.
The unmodified cognitive score went down by 0.29 from 1997-2006. They adjusted the data for BMI, demographic, intake of energy, and lifestyle of the participants.
Analysis of the data showed that eating more than 10 grams of nuts every day correlated with higher cognition scores. Participants who ate nuts performed better by 0.63 points and were 40 percent less prone to suffer poor cognitive function.
The researchers concluded that consuming nuts might help a person maintain healthy cognitive function as he grew older.
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Li M, Shi Z. A PROSPECTIVE ASSOCIATION OF NUT CONSUMPTION WITH COGNITIVE FUNCTION IN CHINESE ADULTS AGED 55 _ CHINA HEALTH AND NUTRITION SURVEY. 29 October 2018;23(2):211–216. DOI: 10.1007/s12603-018-1122-5.