TIME: How Your Diet May Affect Your Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

In the first study of its kind, researchers have linked specific vitamins and nutrients in the diet with cognitive performance and the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

The research, published in the journal Neurology, showed that people with healthier diets — rich in omega-3 fatty acids and a variety of vitamins — had bigger brains and better cognitive function than those whose diets were unhealthier on the whole.

Many previous surveys of people have found that those who report diets high in vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids have slower rates of cognitive decline, compared with people whose diets are lower in these nutrients. But when researchers have conducted randomized trials with elderly patients, giving specific supplements to some and placebos to others, the association between the nutrients and intellectual abilities like memory, language, reasoning and planning fell apart.

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