Dairy consumption and working memory performance in overweight and obese adults
Year of Publication 2012
All individuals will experience some degree of cognitive impairment in their later years. Diet is one readily modifiable factor that may influence cognitive function and psychological well-being. Very little research has considered the potential role of dairy foods in modulating cognitive and psychological functions. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of a high intake of reduced fat dairy food on cognitive performance. Overweight adults with habitually low dairy intakes (< two serves/day) were recruited for a 12 month crossover dietary intervention trial and randomised to a high (four serves/day) or low (one serve/day) intake of reduced fat dairy, crossing over to the alternate diet after 6 months. Participants were tested at the end of each 6 month diet period on multiple measures of cognitive performance, including memory, information processing speed, executive function, attention and abstract reasoning. In 38 participants who completed the trial (average age=52±2 years; BMI=31.5±0.8 kg/m(2)), spatial working memory performance was marginally better following 6 months of the high dairy diet compared with the low dairy diet. Increasing the dairy intake of habitually low dairy consumers may have the potential to improve working memory.; Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.