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Antioxidant vitamins reduce acute meal-induced memory deficits in adults with type 2 diabetes – Source: Nutrition Research, July 2008

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Memory impairment is observed in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), with further acute deficits after meal ingestion.

This study explored whether postprandial [after meal] oxidative stress was a contributor to these meal-induced memory deficits.

Sixteen adults with T2DM (mean age, 63.5 ± 2.1 years) who were not regularly taking high-dose antioxidant supplements were fed:

  • A high-fat meal,
  • The same test meal with vitamins C (1000 mg) and E (800 IU) tablets,
  • Or water, on 3 separate occasions.

  • After meal ingestion, a battery of cognitive tests were administered, which included measures of delayed verbal memory, assessed at 60 and 105 minutes after meal ingestion.

    Relative to water consumption, the high-fat meal resulted in poorer performance at 105 minutes post-ingestion on measures of delayed verbal recall (word list and paragraph recall) and working memory (Digit-Span Forward).

    Co-consumption of antioxidant vitamins and high-fat meal prevented this meal-induced deficit such that performance on these tasks was indistinguishable from that after water intake.

    At the same time point, a small but significant improvement on the word-naming and color-naming components of Stroop was observed after meal ingestion, relative to water – irrespective of whether antioxidants were consumed – demonstrating the specificity of meal-induced impairments to memory function.

    Executive function, assessed by Trails Parts A and B, was not influenced by meal or antioxidant ingestion.

    In adults with T2DM [type 2 diabetes], co-consumption of antioxidant vitamins minimizes meal-induced memory impairment, implicating oxidative stress as a potential contributor to these decrements.

    Abbreviations: BDI, Beck Depression Inventory; gAUC, area under the blood glucose curve; GI, glycemic index; T2DM, type 2 diabetes mellitus; WMS, Wechsler Memory Scale

    Source: Nutrition Research, July 2008. 28(7), pp 423-429. doi:10.1016/j.nutres.2008.03.016, by Chui MH and Greenwood CE. Kunin-Lenenfeld Applied Research Unit and Department of Food and Nutrition Services, Baycrest, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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