Results of recent research that were published in Molecular Nutrition &Food research suggest that there are no obvious potential links between consumption of the most popular dairy products and cognition. There may be an association however with a greater rate of cognitive decline over a 2 year period in older adults at high cardiovascular disease risk for whole fat milk, the research stated.
The key results of the findings of this study ae as follows
Introduction of the Research study
As the population ages, the rise in the global prevalence of cognitive impairment, including dementia, is an increasingly major public health concern. Cognitive decline refers to the attenuation in cognitive function which encompasses the mental processes such as attention, short-term and long-term memory, reasoning, coordination of movement and planning of tasks, that are crucial for the conduct of daily living activities.[1, 2] The concept of cognitive decline ranges from minimal age-related cognitive decline to mild cognitive impairment to dementia, which is the most severe cognitive impairment, as the final stage of this dysfunction.[3, 4] Worldwide, at least 55 million people are living with dementia, and it is predicted that by 2050 over 139 million people will be affected. In Spain, more than 800 000 people are living with Alzheimer’s disease, which is the most frequent cause of dementia.
Faster rates of cognitive decline may lead to earlier onset of cognitive impairment and dementia. This is concerning as there is a diverse etiology and, mainly due to limited long-term evidence, factors affecting cognitive function are poorly understood.[1, 2] Furthermore, effective treatments to cure cognitive disorders or to slow the rate of cognitive decline are still not available. For that reason, prevention strategies targeting modifiable risk factors, such as nutritional intake and dietary habits, remain a promising approach.[3, 4]
Milk and other dairy product consumption may play an important role in the prevention of age-related cognitive decline and dementia.[7–9] Previous studies have suggested that phospholipids in the milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) may explain the possible biological mechanisms linking milk and other types of dairy consumption to cognitive function. Additionally, various researchers have demonstrated that nutrients found in dairy products may exert beneficial effects directly or indirectly on cognitive function, including whey protein, bioactive peptides, α-lactalbumin, vitamin B12, and calcium. The actions of probiotics contained in fermented dairy products modulating gut microbiota may also impact cognitive function.[7, 9, 10]
However, findings from a limited number of epidemiological studies investigating the association between dairy product consumption and cognitive function remain inconsistent with high heterogeneity, and most are cross-sectional in design.[11–16] Therefore, to investigate the association between dairy consumption and cognitive function, longitudinal studies exploring the associations between milk and specific types of dairy products with cognitive performance are needed.
Based on the aforementioned potential mechanisms and evidence to date, in the present study we hypothesized that milk and dairy product consumption may help in delaying cognitive decline and maintaining cognitive functioning during aging. Thus, to test this hypothesis, the aim was to assess the short-term longitudinal associations between milk and dairy product consumption overall and by subcategories (e.g., fat content, fermented, or nonfermented), with subsequent changes over a 2-year follow-up in cognitive performance in an older Spanish population at high cardiovascular disease risk.
Excerpt from journal of molecular nutrition and Food research https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/mnfr.202101058
Source : Medical dailogues July 25th 2022 by Jacinthlyn Sylvia